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Topic: Inimical Acronyms (Read 284 times)

Inimical Acronyms

We all know how much acronyms mean to our "modern" bureaucracies! Could our civilization even exist without them? :) Certainly, communications would suffer from their lack... As much as I decry the tendencies to obfuscate by their use, I'm a fan of creative, informative "initialization".
My personal favorite (and likely yours) is Mutual Assured Destruction: MAD!

But sometimes the obvious choice is rejected, for -shall we say- telling too much... The recently prevalent example DEI bothers me for more than one reason.
While it stands for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion even a cursory examination shows an illogic to its construction: Shouldn't the progression be "diversity, inclusion, equity"? Surely diversity without inclusion wouldn't necessarily entail equity.
(Diversity and equity aren't antithetical, after all. Nor are diversity and equality.)
But the connotation of DIE are off-putting... And those of DEI, as even a smattering of Latin yields, are salubrious, reverential and -need I add- disingenuous?
One might even say diabolical!

Perhaps the construction DEI is meant to obscure the connotations of "equity" by conflating the common sense meaning of "fairness and impartiality" with the legal or financial usages...or both?
More likely, its use is derived from a Marxian perspective and ironical! Putting it -the I of "inclusion"- out its natural order defies the obvious intent: To dispel the notion of American "equality before the law"...

Something's amiss here. :( Departments of DEI routinely champion inequality, exclusion and dis-unity; and discord... Not only do words matter. Acronyms do, too. And not all are innocuous...
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)


Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #2
Well, there is a noticeable trend of corporate wokeness, which includes these annoying keywords like diversity, equity and inclusion.[1] Also sustainability and whatnot. In principle there is nothing new in it: Whatever might help to project a favourable image of the company, this is what the management and the PR and HR departments will use.

Wikipedia correctly identifies this as just a silly fad. Contrary to Oakdale, there is nothing Marxian about it. Maybe Pseudo-Marxian, if even that.
Annoying because workers are occasionally made to attend boring educational lectures on these keywords, while none of it is extended to any good principled guidance. They just complicate the ordinary communication (in perfect alignment with the general trend of obscurantism in corporate-speak) and are a hindrance to professionalism in the work-place.

Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #3
It's much more prevalent on college campuses. And lucrative!
As with most CRT-based efforts, rather than defend the focus and practices when confronted they -the folks (yes, ersi, Human Resources departments) in charge- waffle or outright deny the plain evidence... The shenanigans in the Virginia Department of Education, as high-lighted in Loudoun County, cost the Democrats the governorship this year.
An "old" article mentions some of the problems, in contexts other than academia. (Its chatty-ness is off-putting, to me. YMMV)
I too am not optimistic that such efforts will subside into innocuous verbiage virtue-signaling.

@Frenzie: The wiki entry is woefully inadequate in every respect. A stub...
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)


Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #5
So: If Wikipedia doesn't cover it, it's not important? :)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #6
I could have easily accidentally expressed myself worse, but given that we're talking about something American rather than African that's indeed what it suggests. Suggests means more likely than not at first glance. A suggestion is easily overturned.

That Wikipedia page also suggests it's probably just a weird new name for the American phenomenon of "diversity training." There's some kind of culpability avoidance performance theater that seems to be important to American companies. Crudely summarized, something like: "Look at us, we're doing so much about fixing this issue, we have an annoying hour of 'DEI' once a year after all."

Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #7
...Were it not for the effects such has on actual people... I don't find that an inconsequential caveat.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)



Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #10
Thanks for the link, Frenzie! I enjoyed reading the article; I always enjoy a well-written screed... :)
Might I recommend another? https://reason.com/2021/12/13/the-second-great-age-of-political-correctness/
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

Re: Inimical Acronyms

Reply #11
I know I recently said to ersi that I "don't do gossip-y stuff". But I must confess a certain fondness for memoir, and Taki's High Life column (along with Dalrymple's All About Me) are staples. Call them guilty pleasures,,,
And since a well-crafted expression of an important thought can't be repeated too often:
Quote
Woke today is Savonarola and Torquemada rolled into one. Unforgiving and repressive, it has replaced common sense with crazed theories about race and privilege. The deeply stupid have fallen for it. We are now obsessed with eradicating every ism in the book.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)