the revised devil's dictionary 


The Revised Devils Dictionary all began a number of years ago.   Like most ordinary souls in the 80's and early 90's, I found myself attending countless meetings where management attempted to convince me of a number of ludicrous things.

There were meetings to assess morale.

There were meetings to stimulate productivity.

There were meetings to assess productivity and stimulate morale.   Sounds dirty but it wasn't.  Unfortunately.

To keep out of hot water with various upper level managers and to help out my manager (a really nice guy who was caught between oncoming train engines), I starting taking notes of all of the words whose meanings had been  surgically altered in some secret lab in North Dakota.   It was mind-numbing. 

Not all of it came under the heading of euphemisms.  Some of it came from the Political Correctness movement.  Some from fads in management (remember team building, anyone?) spewed out in such books as Thriving on Chaos Some of came from the social sciences and an unholy amount of it came from education.

At one point, the governmental agency I work for actually went so far as to pay for a newsletter that cost over $25,000 a year -- Team Talk.  Anybody else ever get that rag?   It was very much like stepping through Lewis Carroll's   looking glass, only the good Reverend was no where to be seen.  

The definitions and laws that you will find in the newsletter were for the most part, written by myself while absolutely furious and under a promise to keep my mouth shut in open meetings.  Some of them might possibly come across as a little overboard--but I certainly didn't think so at the time.   Beside, with the searing example of Ambrose Bierce preceding me, I must surely come across as nothing more than a bit testy.

Hit Counter