Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kozol on jargon

Jonathan Kozol on educational jargon:

One of the most annoying consequences of this trend, as you’ve observed, is a peculiar tendency to use a polysyllabic synonym for almost any plain and ordinary word: “implement” for do, “initiate” for start, “utilize” for use, “identify” for name, ”articulate” for state, “replicate” for copy, “evaluate” for judge, “quantify” for count, “strategize” for plan, “facilitate” for help, “restructure” or “reconstitute” for change. The toss-in use of adjectives like “positive” and “meaningful” (instead of, simply, “good” or “real”) in front of nouns like “outcome” or “collaboration” is another common way of trying to pump extra air into a wilted and deflated intellectual ballon.

Letters to a Young Teacher (New York: Crown, 2007)
We should talk about these observations in small grou — I mean, in breakout sessions.

Related posts
How to improve writing (no. 5) (on facilitator)
How to improve writing (no. 11) (on implement)

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