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Let the Conversation about the Word 'Conversation' Begin

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 7/30/07 (8:32am)

First, Hillary Clinton begins her campaign for the presidency with the incredibly vapid statement:

Let the Conversation Begin

Then, the Washington Post counters in defense of a completely silly column on her anatomy:

Let the Cleavage Conversation Begin

Now Sam Boyd from Tapped has had enough. He writes:

Can We Not Let the Cleavage Conversation Begin

My suggestion is, maybe we can stop the Conversation long enough to actually say something. I mean, is there anyone who can still use this word with a straight face?

It had to happen. The long-reigning champ of "Uber Platitude" may be about to cede its title to a brawney new upstart.

Long a favorite on the Sincerity Circuit, the "Conversation Schtick" received a blow to its mid-drifts after trend-setting The Onion declared: "Let the conversation end."

This set the stage for a possible upset in the "Platitude Sweepstakes" with new-comer "Disruptive innovation" (child of plain old Innovation) about to gain the upper-hand.

Its use among geek commentators to indicate innovation that changes everything (as opposed to innovation that leaves everything exactly the same), is growing so disruptively that it looks set to overtake rival "Conversation" in no time.

On the Misuse of the Word, 'Conversation'

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/4/07 (3:14pm)

Is it me or does the use of the word, 'conversation' for just about any communication between human beings cause others to cringe as well?

First, the guy on our local NPR Station talked of having some politician in for a "conversation" back in March; then Hillary Clinton runs on a platform called "Let the Conversation Begin". Now, a report just out on social networks in libraries is called, "Participatory Networks: The Library as Conversation". It concludes (not surprisingly): "...[T]here is now a need to broaden both the scope and scale of the conversation." [link]

Is there no end to this? It's like using 'luxury' to describe condo units. The word begins to lose all meaning -- or even worse begins to take on the opposite of what's intended -- simply because it's used so much.

When I hear 'conversation', increasingly I think: 'insincere attempt to get my attention for trivial, banal or commercial purposes'. Sorry, but I'm just conversation'ed out.

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