Blurfillication and the Neutering of Language

[Okay.  Every once in awhile you’re going to have to allow me one of these.  I am a horticulturist and a word guy.  Communication is hard enough even without interest groups screwing around with our language!!!  Throw in the taxonomists endlessly resorting families and genera…and I can’t hardly think.]

Before you start, I offer this in the way of a little explanation:  In my previous life as a horticulturist working for the City of Portland Parks and Recreation, I attended more meetings than I want to think about, and I was a field guy.  One series of them focused on “sustainable landscapes”.  I felt like I might as well have been sitting there with a bunch of Russian and Chinese speakers, I mean no disrespect, but I have absolutely no facility for foreign languages.  English and botanical latin pretty well max me out.  I could not believe how many different interpretations of the phrase there were.  To me it was very simple and very clear…somebody either stole the word sustainable and transformed it or I was asleep that day in class when they passed out the definitions.  That is where the following comes from…that and my own often off the wall associations….

Blurfillious: \ˈblər fil-le-yəs\ adj, the quality or state of having been rendered meaningless, generally applied to words themselves not the actual objects or actions.

Blurfillciate: \ˈblər fil-lə-kāt\ vb., to render a word meaningless through consistent and calculated misuse, generally as a part of an organized strategy, as is used by politicians and marketers, to convince a targeted audience of things otherwise not in evidence.

Blurfillicated: \ˈblər fil-lə-kāt-əd\ adj., The successful use of blurfillication whereby the targeted audience has been convinced that one thing is another and has given their short term support or purchased proffered product or services.

Blurfillication: \ˈblər fil-lə-kā-shən\ noun, a limited strategy used to manipulate target audiences through the active redefining of specific key words.  Potent, trending words quickly coming into accepted use are appropriated and redefined in more general terms so as to include the previous paradigm, product or politics making the blurfillicator ‘appear to be’ more current, cutting edge, sensitive or whatever other quality they are attempting ascribe to themselves or their product.  The target audience when hearing the word continues to use their own earlier definition thereby completing the circle of communication with them coming to the conclusion intended by the blurfillicators…appearance over substance.    Having once been used successfully strips the object word of its meaning and thereby its effectiveness in future campaigns prompting blurfillicators to appropriate other still potent words from the lexicon for future programs. Skillful blurfillicators are able to cast ‘blame’ on the impreciseness of language or on opponents and the media who have misrepresented the product or positions on said issue, leaving the audience open for another cycle.  (see ‘obfuscation’)

Blurfillicator: \ˈblər fil-lə-ka-tȯr\ noun, a person or organization, that practices the duplicitous art of blurfillication.

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