Monday, May 09, 2005

Three Good New Books

Three books I have bought at Borders in the past two weeks: Junk English 2 by Ken Smith, 100 Words Almost Everyone Uses and Misues, and Death Sentences by Don Watson. The last is more an indictment on argle-bargle in Australian politics and Australian management stylings, but useful to this blog nevertheless. Especially on one of my man pet peeve words, the gnarly gremlin named commited.


I quote

To say we are committed to something does not mean we believe it (if we did, why not say so?) or that we will do it (if we will, why not do so?). Commitment is a standard weasel word, a weed that spread with the fashion for mission statements, new management theories, and sports psychology.

and later

Churchill did not talk about commitment, and Lincoln got through the Gettysburg Address without it. At the heart of commitment, there is deceit, including self-deceit. But, as with all weeds, commitment's main offense is to the landscape. It is the ugliness of it and the ubiquity. It might not fool us, but it does depress us.

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