Saturday, January 18, 2014

On making up words and other PM proclivities

When I hear Sir David Higgins speak, I prick up my ears, gag my son and turn up the radio. As a result, I'm an HS2 believer where before I was a naysayer. I also think his option to use the word use of the word 'deliverability' in a recent interview was, if not revolutionary, a useful addition to the PM's lexicon.

This is, in my opinion, an acceptable bit of etymological license. It's got its feet on the ground, it's readily intelligible and hasn't been "Brittassed" or "Brented" to death. More likely to ingratiate than alienate.

Synergy, synergise, synergistic, synergies on the other had are the worst sort of PM excreta.

While the word synergy is a word, the other variations are not. Yes, yes neither (technically) is deliverability but who cares? You mention deliverability - you might put the ball in the back of the net. You say synergistic - you're more likely to lose the locker room.

Which is a bit of a shame, because hidden behind the grotesquerie is reasonable ambition which might even help with deliverability. So, I have set myself the task of finding a suitable substitute.  My principal source of reference was of course the work of Mssrs. Noblet and Yabsley

I can assure you, there will be no need for the stated 10-15 scalpel or razor blades, the biohazard or heavy duty plastic bag for animal carcasses or even (heaven forefend) a fistulated cow (I kid you not). However (and now is the time to pin back your lugs) Mssrs. Noblet and Yabsley's paper "The Good and the Bad: Symbiotic Organisms From Selected Hosts" does summarise nicely the following types of naturally occurring symbiotic relationship.

  • Mutualism - a symbiotic relationship in which both host and symbiote benefit.
  • Commensalism occurs when one organism (commensal) receives benefit from from the association, while the other (host) is not affected (neither benefited nor harmed)
  • Parasitism - when one organism (parasite) receives benefit at the expense of the other(host).
Oddly there is a relationship in project management that is distinct and not found in nature called a commercial dispute in which neither party benefit and both suffer expense. Sometimes that's called egotism.

No comments:

Post a Comment