Friday, November 23, 2012

The Art Of The Possible, and why it drives me nuts

There are lots of phrases people misuse, and plenty deep is the corporate lingo cesspool. Art of the Possible is my latest favourite. It actually means something akin to "compromised effort", in that you're achieving what's barely possible, instead of something which should be an aspiration. For example, "Politics is the art of the possible" quoted from Otto Von Bismarck. I'm pretty sure he wasn't saying that politics is a wonder-world of delight.

However, I've seen it (and heard it) many times when trying to evoke some grand vision or a construction where anything is imaginable. Technology people seem especially prone to this--maybe because "possible" for an engineer is a much broader space. It always makes me cringe. For me it not only sounds like grandstanding, but it makes me immediately think of exactly the opposite of what the speaker was intending. It makes me think that the speaker is talking about something that barely works!

If I ever send you a link to this little old blog post of mine, it just means you've triggered my Art of the Possible abuse alarm.

No comments:

Post a Comment