When solutions are problems

August 22, 2001

It is one of the ironies of civilization that in passing the test of time, popular words and phrases often become clichés. True meanings are lost through endless and mindless repetition.Our language is littered with trite statements ranging from Dan

It is one of the ironies of civilization that in passing the test of time, popular words and phrases often become clichés. True meanings are lost through endless and mindless repetition.

Our language is littered with trite statements ranging from Dan Rather’s sign-off on the nightly news, “That’s part of our world” (we all hope it’s the important part), to the abridged clichés that have outlived their usefulness. (Who remembers-much less uses-the remaining words that describe what makes clams happy and keeps them from becoming bird food?)

We are fortunate that radiology is so exact, that providers and vendors alike are dedicated to precision. Unfortunately, we are not immune to the ravages of word-flation, a process by which the meanings of words are lost through their overuse. Revolutionary is one example. Breakthrough another. (How many revolutions can our industry support at any one time? How many breakthroughs can early adopters afford?)

I have learned from reading press releases that these and other amazing things often happen together. Not long ago, one company, self-described as “innovative,” introduced a “revolutionary new” product that offered “unparalleled” flexibility and speed. Another described “breakthrough” technology that incorporates “revolutionary” components. A third established “a new standard for value.”

And these are only a few examples. Rather than dispensing with hackneyed phrases-to make room for new ones-we are beginning to accumulate them. We are becoming an industry of solutions providers, populated by leaders that leverage ramped up next-generation devices into win-win synergies that shift our paradigms.

Perhaps the use of these words is a sign of insecurity, a sorrowful cry for help. Fortunately, there is help. Tucked away in a corner of the Internet is Jargon Free Web. I have found in perusing this site robust and seamless answers to mission-critical questions. This turnkey, best-in-class, customer-driven operation renders extraordinary insights. Its state-of-the-art, cutting edge Jargonator grades text on a 1 to 6 scale for jargon content, providing a scalable, Web-enabled, and interactive means to eliminate obfuscation.

Visit this site. Time is running out. The RSNA meeting is only three months away. If we were to find that this year’s batch of press releases are not peppered with tired verbiage my editorial colleagues and I would be happy as clams at high tide.