The Eight Most Important Things Around Around
- What are you so mad around?
- Don’t worry… your surgeon knows a lot around your heart
- He just had no idea what I was talking around.
- It’s around time you showed up.
- People just don’t really think around those things anymore.
- Strategy is all around advantage.
- If you actually cared around me, I’d know it!
- Relax! We’ve heard all around you!
Something really different happened in the professional ranks of the English-speaking world between 2016 and now.
It might have been adopting a posture of “open” mindedness, inviting each other to decide, together, on what things ought to be specific in attention, discussion, or position, before actually having attention, a discussion, or a position. Politeness, turned political correctness.
Or, it might have been just a way of evading being accountable, which mysteriously became attractive because of the power of… suggestion?
Think about it: what is this article around, anyway? At this point, even quoting the article still leaves it four lanes of toll-free plausible deniability.
(a. just kidding; b. didn’t come right out and judge something; c. only repeating common observations; d. hey, it’s just an opinion!)
Best case scenario: saying “around” is an invitation, like to a party at a pretty good looking house but you don’t yet know what’s inside. It’s kind of convivial; or in special moments it has the aura of an inspired instinct — I’m not sure why I’m going that way, but I’m sure that’s the way I’m gonna go.”
My thought: people in the cheap seats get the privilege of thinking around the game. People on the playing field have to think about the game.
But it may be too late for that. For one thing, even academia has adopted the habit of going “around”, joining thought leaders, politicians and podcasters. All that publishing and publicity has normalized it pretty quickly, making unsuspecting youngsters including “students” accept and use it without thinking. Uh oh.
Most likely, the only way to put a stop to it is to reframe “around” a.s.a.p. as slang, virtually guaranteeing that the next generation of high-schoolers will forcibly evict it from common usage as a substitute for anything. We can’t know what even newer term, subsequently, might infectiously replace “about”; but by then maybe I won’t care around it anymore.
© 2022 malcolm ryder / archestra research