Word Abuse: SOLUTIONS


Everywhere one looks, today, it seems that one sees this dreadfully over-used piece of meaningless management-speak popping constantly up and being abused and its original meaning lost.    The simple explanation is that, in order to attract custom and appear “relevant” the tradesman must use “buzz words” that other companies will understand; the public, though, never can and this is where unforgivable confusion which is massive arises!

As with so many examples of word abuse, “solutions” are a buzz-word with its origins in the technological industry.    Modern computers such as the Cray XMP contain countless numbers of flaws and viri, and break often down, necessitating help from an “expert” in these things.    Rather than calling this service what it is, “help”, the computer companies,  inexplicably, often refer to them as, “solutions”!   Printing solutions”, “facsimile solutions”; it seems that there is nothing that these magicians can not “solve”!
(We must also add that the phrase “computer repair” is wrong.   You “re-pair” a car or a language.  One does not “repair” a computer.)
It is tragic to have seen this word seep across the borders into other areas of commerce: when one wants, for example, to buy salt, one requests “salt”, not “salt solutions”!   When one desires tickets for the cabaret, one does not seek to find “cabaret solutions”!

There are many further instances where “solution” has been falsely used, too numerous to mention.   But members are reminded, strictly speaking, that scientists only may properly use the word “solution”.   A “solution”, that is to say, a “mixture of water and another substance”, is it.
So a “salty solution”, would, in fact, have been one of the few correct usages of this poor abused word, which needs our support – and let it be said that a salty solution thrown into the face of those mis-using “solution” in future might be the best way in which it be dealt-with –!

 

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