Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Every period has its word. When electricity was the brand new thing, the use of the word "electric" was at an all time high. Especially as a prefix, electro. It was everywhere!

There's really no need to say that the whole "electro" craze toned down over the years. Electricity has become somewhat of a given, and that something is electric doesn't make it into an object of curiosity as it once were.

Over time, various other words have come to fill the electrifying role of electro. One might say that while electro became that much less important, the need for other buzzwords didn't.

One of the recent ones is "cyber", which thankfully is no longer in frequent use. That quarter century of being around really did put a damper on it. And in those rare cases when it didn't, it is either compensated for in terms of diehard enthusiasm or hardnecked moneymaking ambitions.

Or, as in the case of those talking about tougher measures against cybercrime or hardening our defenses in the ongoing cyberwar - by the discursive lag endemic to all political propaganda. You get a lot further by invoking the cyberghost than by saying that economic fraud and systemic domestic infrastructural weaknesses are problems that needs to be dealt with. And it's too much work to invent a new buzzword when that old one still works.

What I like to do is to replace [buzzword] with the good old electro, just to see what happens. If the sentence still makes sense after it's electrified, then it's probably fluff. (Electrocrime!) If, on the other hand, the sentence runs into semantic difficulties when the buzzword is buzzed out, then you might want to look closer at it. Because it actually tries to say something about the subject matter, rather than just invoking it for your marketable mind's eye.

Thus, looking forward, we are on the constant lookout for new creative solutions to the unique challenges posed by the digital cyberenvironment, and are proud in our resolve to electro electro electro -

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