Saturday, 30 June 2007

Words of the day

One of the most common sources of new words is the field of management. Here are two words, each of which has several things to communicate. An old favourite, provided by Rebecca from the Communities in Control Conference held recently, is incentivise. This has been around a long time, and can be defined as a policy of "funding those who agree with us, and taxing those who don't." It can also be defined more prosaically as to provide an incentive - a less appealing version of the carrot part of the carrot and stick metaphor.

Also from this verbally prolific conference,
speechify, as in "the community sector has a tendency to speechify." I guess that means to turn some other form of activity into a verbal activity. Many dictionaries define this as simply the act of making a speech, and this unaware definition has apparently been assumed by SpeechWorks in using the word for its new text-to-speech product which turns turns text into speech "with more personality than previously thought possible." The product has been licensed by Microsoft. A better definition is from the Urban Dictionary -"to speechify is to incessantly, superfluously bloviate in regards to an issue that usually calls for more direct action (or a change of course)." For example: "President Bush's strategy to combat the Iraq war's unpopularity is to speechify."

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