Paradigm Shift DENIED

At least in the world of UK local government

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

March 19, 2009

1 Min Read
Paradigm Shift DENIED

4:50 PM -- What would the technology press release writers and marketing folk do if they couldn't use words and phrases like "paradigm shift" and "functionality"?I don't know, but it might be a lot of fun to find out. A new list of words and phrases from the U.K.'s Local Government association (LGA) suggests 200 usages that it wants banned from council papers and briefings.

The report suggests that the word "paradigm" should be exiled from the lexicon because it is meaningless. "Why use it at all?" the LGA asks.

Yet the phrase "paradigm shift" is a favorite of tech execs and marketing people the world over. I suspect some people would find it, er, a real game changer if they had to stop saying, "paradigm shift."

The phrase wasn't always so conspicously devoid of meaning however. It was originally used to describe concepts that challenged the basic underlying assumptions of science. Not the fact that such-and-such a company now offers its router in a radical shade of mauve.

Now, we at Unstrung have always tried to avoid, or at least to explain, obvious jargon. I rarely quote people if they pepper their speech with "end-to-end solutions" or "paradigm shifts," for instance. Still, even we can't escape the LGA's blacklist -- the report suggests "taxonomy" as another word that doesn't actually mean very much. "A Wireless Taxonomy" was one of the first things I worked on for Unstrung. Whoops! — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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