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Industry Weasels

Terms without clarity are offensive.

Weasel words is an underappreciated term. It describes something that someone says either to avoid answering a question clearly or to make someone believe something that is not true.

Weasel words exist in every industry. Just an endless loop of "free markets" and "innovation" and "AI" and "diversity-as-a-science" and every other annoying, bastardized term the imposters use.

WeWork, the $20 billion behemoth, recently announced that it would no longer offer unlimited beer to its members. And in perfect form, the WeWork spokeswoman sounded like a cartoonish version of a Silicon Valley character: “an innovative, software-driven mechanism to help manage the provision of alcohol in our spaces.”

What the hell does that sentence mean?

It means nothing.

When discussing beer, “innovative, software-driven mechanism” is a weasel language. Its lack of clarity is offensive.

The startup world is full of weasel language. No longer satisfied with being an oh-so-boring company, legally established corporate entities are now “platforms,” and “communities,” and “experiences,” and, in WeWork’s case, a “global network of workspaces.”

I appreciate these guys as a counterpoint: "Snap is a camera company.”

As in all things worth doing, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Start with language.