Category Archives: jargon

Pent-up supply.

Vegetable Soup 001It’s been around 9 months since my last post, enough to insure that what little relationship this blog had to the here and now has up and gone.

That’s freeing in a way, because instead of generating content, I can write. There is a difference and now that I’ve done both, I can say I much prefer the latter to the former.

For example, in content there is no place for words like latter and former, because the effort it takes to figure out which is which is apparently insurmountable. It makes your content less snackable, and lower snackability leads to less stickiness, which kills your analytics.

Well, my blog ain’t got no analytics, so I’m free to write rather than generate. I doubt the demand has built up over the last 12 months, but the supply sure has. Explications, complaints, ironic asides and petty jealousies have all built up into a simmering cassoulet that is the very antithesis of snackable. So let’s dole it out by the cupful over the next several days until we scrape the cauldron’s crusty bottom.

First up: what everybody missed about the Cadillac spot.

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A challenging day.

Humankind cannot bear too much reality.”
–T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”

It’s been a challenging day.

The weather has been challenging, the fraudulent use of my credit card in Madrid is a challenge, and my painting contractor’s sudden, unexplained disappearance will certainly pose a challenge going forward.

My 3rd quarter mutual fund letters to shareholders make abundant use of the word “challenging,” as do CEOs reporting missed targets on analyst calls. Having all their franchise players injured was certainly a challenge for the Mets.

The beauty of “challenging”, as opposed to, say, “totally and completely fucked,” is that challenge is noble and invites rising, whereas total and complete fucked-upness is depressing and invites sitting down or–even better–going to sleep.

Euphemisms have their place in civilized life. They grace the skids for little white lies meant as a kindness, and they minimize the gross factor in discussions about bodily functions. But I’ve never understood euphemisms that mask truths, fool no one, and leave neither speaker or listener feeling better.