There was a very good piece in the New York Times by Steven Kurutz called "The 'Kind of' 'Sort of' Era".
The point of which you can, kind of, figure out.
We sort of come across as if we don't know what we are talking about.
It drives us crazy when our kids seem to constantly use that sort of language.
We tell them to cut it out, but they, kind of, don't listen.
So now the contagion has spread and adults (many of which are in powerful positions) have adapted this tentative language, and sort of feel better using it.
Because either they really often dunno what the heck they are talking about or just want to score political points, and so it kind of makes sense.
What? you say--all the "Geenius" pundits, researchers, academics, government officials, big company bosses kind of don't know?
Ah yeah--we often discuss ad nauseam, throw in a few numbers or spurious "facts" and then sort of just make our best "guesstimate."
Usually, it's kind of like our gut, intuition, whims, politics, or personal agendas drive our approach or decisions as much as anything else.
This is reflected in what is often sort of wishy-washy deliberations and back and forth "decision-making."
Most of the time the answers are obvious....
- Disease Management: Make an ebola quarantine. SAFEGUARD AMERICAN LIVES.
- Terrorism: Put "boots on the ground." INEVITABLE.
- National Security: Cut a bad deal with longtime enemies building dangerous weapons of mass destruction. RIDICULOUS.
- Economy: Balance the budget for our children. BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
The list goes on and on...
Kurutz is right--we are uncertain about what we are saying and doing, and this is reflected in our "hedge-speak" and our one-foot-in tactics, getting us sort of nowhere as a country.
I for one am fed up with all this kind of/sort of stuff, and think we need to take a stand, speak the truth, make important decisions, and move forward from fuzzyland where we are now all living. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)