Biotech Devil’s Dictionary

The Boston Globe, in its Business section Sept 25, 2017, has a great feature headlined, “The Biotech Devil’s Dictionary: Your guide to the inanities of industry  jargon.”  Written by Damian Garde of  STAT, the reporting service on health, medicine and science, produced by Boston Globe Media, the dictionary is described as follows: “Biotech can be a breeding ground for jargon, coded language, and outright nonsense, as investors and scientists probe the depths of linguistic absurdity to explain why the thing they do is just that much more special than all the other things out there. We wanted to celebrate this proud tradition — and so, like a canny capitalist repurposing an old drug, we stole an idea.
“Ambrose Bierce began “The Devil’s Dictionary” in the late 1800s, creating a satirical lexicon he updated weekly before wandering off to Mexico to die. We sought to replicate at least part of that story — hence, The Biotech Devil’s Dictionary. Entries appear semi-regularly in The Readout1, our free daily biotech newsletter.

“Here, in one place, are the entries we’ve compiled so far. If they offend you, just remember that Bierce defined a reporter as “a writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words.” So there’s that.”

Garde’s first entry: “2.0  (adj): A largely meaningless modifier one can apply to anything meant to sound improved but also predictably improvable….”   Among the 16 words defined, one was definitely journalese: “Precision (adj.) A term whose popularity as a description of ‘medicine’ has made it a catch-all for anything that could use a futuristic sprucing up, including agriculture, dating and shoplifting.” Garde’s example:  “EPVantage has already trademarked ‘precision journalism,’ so don’t even think about it.”  Jacob Plieth, who is (hopefully) joking.”

Check it out at;

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