The Appearance of Stupidity

by Glenn R. Geist

Three times in a 30 second conversation on MSNBC: talking heads have picked up the business school babble and have replaced “appearances” with “Optics.” Forcing “optics” into every other sentence has become truly obsessive.

Listen up here. I have directed my Generals to come up with a plan to get rid of this within 30 days. It’s going to be gone, believe me. We’re never going to hear this again.

In English, and we are speaking English, aren’t we, Optics is “the scientific study of sight and the behavior of light, or the properties of transmission and deflection of other forms of radiation.” “Appearances” are the way things look, whether or not you’re using optics to look at them.

Frankly, people who think they’re being cute or erudite or educated by doing this have the *appearance of stupidity even if their optics are made by Zeiss or Nikon. Yes, I know the fake educational establishment in the US exists only to confirm solecisms and malapropisms as soon as they appear, but we’re getting rid of them: We’re going to have great grammar. It’s going to be fantastic.

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Posted by on April 19, 2017. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to The Appearance of Stupidity

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    April 19, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    We’d be better off if there were fewer dumb appeals to optics. If you’re going to talk about optics, it should be based on either (a) ground-level reporting about what someone is actually doing, or (b) empirical data like poll numbers about how people react to things. If all you’re doing is inventing stuff that no one on the planet would have noticed if you hadn’t been hard up for material, then you’re responsible for making us collectively stupider and giving optics a bad name.

  2. Diane G. Reply

    April 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Michael, IIANM it sounds as if you’ve already accepted some of the definition-creep here.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      April 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Perhaps you aren’t reading this as I wrote it. It’s all about “optics” you know 🙂

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