The phrase “shovel-ready” was thrown around a lot this year, particularly when it came to stimulus funds for large projects like power line construction and smart-grid installations.
But “shovel-ready” wasn’t for everyone. The funding for such projects may include stipulations some don’t want to meet, while others simply burned out on the term (which I looked at the history of in a post in February). That’s why Lake Superior State University has added the term to its annual list of terms that should be banished.
A few of the reasons given for the phrase’s exile provided to LSSU:
“Apparently, the generally accepted definition of this phrase is to imply that a project has been completely designed and all that is left to do is to implement it … however, when something dies, it, too, is shovel-ready for burial and so I get confused about the meaning. I would suggest that we just say the project is ready to implement.” – Jerry Redington, Keosauqua, Iowa.
“A relatively new term already overused by media and politicians. Bury this term, please.” – Pat Batcheller, Southgate, Mich.
“Do I really need a reason? Well, if so how about this: I just saw it in tandem with ‘cyber-ready’ and nearly choked on my coffee. It’s starting the ‘-ready’ jargon. Makes me ‘vacation-ready.'” – Karen Hill, Ann Arbor, Mich.
“Stick a shovel in it. It’s done.” – Joe Grimm, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Also on the banishment list this year: ‘Tweet,’ as in what one does on Twitter. It’s a technology some in the energy biz are loath to embrace and others misuse.
Here’s to more clever and not-so-clever wordplay in the New Year.