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Social Innovation

On Buzzwords and Played Out Terminology

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  November 2, 2016 |

The technical term for what I might call a ‘buzzword’, whose usefulness has expired is to say that the word has become an ‘empty signifier’.  It’s original meaning has been scooped out by overuse, or misuse, and it becomes a degraded brand even though the original concept or principle that the word describes might remain as important as ever.  People are potentially steered away from the principle because the describing word or phrase has become devalued.  Sometimes the word actually does somehow capture more currency than the idea behind it deserves, or is simply a catchy re-naming of a tired method. In this blog I am exploring the power of words and how minority groups like ours can use words to create change.

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