By Evelyn Pyburn

Have you noticed how as soon as the true meaning catches up with some terms or words, the wording gets changed? There are dozens of words that were perfectly good terms at one point in time, and not only do they get changed but sometimes it becomes anathema to continue to use the old term.

Terms that have changed are things like employees becoming “associates”  or “staff”.  Now its  “team members” and a supervisor or boss becomes a “team leader.” One has to surmise that that change is to try to give stature to people who somehow felt being an employee or to be gainfully employed is demeaning, and at the same time it assuages any inner unease they might have about being a responsible individual, and affirming that they are part of a cozy collective.

No one is a sales person any more, they are marketing specialists or advisors or consultants. Heaven forbid that someone should actually “sell” something, it’s more socially acceptable to steal things than to persuade people to purchase. And, yet it is, that there isn’t a company out there who wouldn’t give their eye-teeth for a good salesperson. No one has a more guaranteed career path than a good salesperson – um, I mean, marketing specialist.

“Profitable” has come to be called “sustainable.” That name change is perfectly understandable in a day when capitalism has become the evil and yet making money is still the goal. The contradiction is missed by such politically correct individuals. There has emerged a lot of enterprises (wouldn’t want to call them businesses because they don’t like that term either), that refer to a customer’s payment for their service or product as a “contribution” – so painful it is, for them to come to terms with the necessity of making a profit to remain a functioning entity (again, not to be called a business). One can be assured when encountering anyone in BUSINESS who cannot come to terms with the reality of what they are doing – who accept contributions for the community service performed by their team in order to be sustainable – be assured they will not long be in “business” because their avoidance of reality will inevitably lead them to make serious errors in the daily decision-making that “business” requires.

But for all these instances of re-labeling – and there are many more, many which have nothing to do with business – there is a new one which is simply delightful. For the first time this week I encountered the term “social entrepreneurs.”

This is most surely a case of latching onto a term that has suddenly become more politically acceptable than ever before and very much in vogue. “Entrepreneur.” Business startups have always… ALWAYS … been vital to a strong and vibrant economy – but suddenly the fact has been discovered by the intellectually elite, and they are so excited about it, they are promoting it in every way. Not to take away from that, at all — because it really is a wonderful development, and it should be encouraged as much as possible, for as long as possible, because the day is surely coming when they will discover that entrepreneurs really do expect to make a profit and the gig will be up; but in the meantime this is a serendipitous moment to be enjoyed. 

But really! “social entrepreneur” sounds for all the world like “community organizer,” which of course was another surrogate term coined in place of the more accurate ,“political activist.”

I could be wrong, but giving me confidence that that is exactly what is meant, in the same paragraph that that term is used, it was further stated, “…and other changemakers (who) … launch new, innovative social change projects.”

I’m just saying…


You must be logged in to post a comment.