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The following blog post is now required reading for all my students. The comments, in particular.

What one word tips you off that the writer is an idiot?

Comments

  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    March 26, 2009

    Word!

  2. #2 Robert Bruce Thompson
    March 26, 2009

    Creationist agenda? Fundamentalist agenda? AIG agenda? Discovery Institute agenda? Right-to-life agenda?

    My only objection to the word is that most people use the plural when they actually mean agendum.

  3. #3 Tom
    March 26, 2009

    Crikey! I LOLed my way through the whole thing! ROTFLMAO, in fact, most of the time! All of my favorites are there! “going forward” “synergy” . When I worked for an insurance company (don’t ask: it was horrible beyond my wildest imaginings)we used to play Bullshit Bingo in company meetings. Our playing cards had words like these in the spaces, and the object was to mark off each word as it was used by the speaker. We were supposed to stand up and shout “bullshit” if we managed to get a row filled before the end of the meeting, but I don’t remember that anyone actually had the nerve to do this. There were plenty of suppressed snorts to be heard, though. Great use of otherwise wasted life force!

  4. #4 Nathan Myers
    March 26, 2009

    What, the Christianistists don’t have an agenda? Or agendas (“agendae” ha ha)?

    How about the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy? Don’t they have an agenda to restore the aristocracy? (Trick question; already done.)

  5. #5 José
    March 26, 2009

    One can only ponder how they didn’t end up picking this use of the word one.

  6. #6 Dan J
    March 26, 2009

    About twenty years ago I worked for a fortune-500 company (okay, it was ALCOA). I was not an executive, but got to write up a lot of memoranda, as well as standard operating procedures for the department I was in. I would consistently use phrases similar to those mentioned. It was not because I, the author, was an idiot, but because the audience, the highly-paid executives, were thought by me to be idiots. Guess what: I was right.

    I would pad out paragraphs with utter bullshit and buzzwords. I actually found it comical. And the executives? They ate it up. They loved it! And they were very serious about it.

  7. #7 Elmer Eugene Eggelsworth
    July 29, 2009

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