You may have seen the commercial where audience members play bingo during a corporate training, tracking the speaker's motivational expressions such as "out-of-the-box-thinking", "win-win", "pro-active", etc. My personal favorite/pet peeve is the word "innovative", which seems to be required in many City of Portland press releases. "Innovative" has come to mean "speculative and likely to cost more money than promised", to me. That or, "completely obvious, should have been done years ago and probably was until the previous innovative idea was implemented". Either way, if it's "innovative", you have to support this if you're a progressive Portlander! Even if it means you're going to get worked over, again!
Back to buzz phrases in general. In today's Oregonian reporting on the Portland Police Bureau's plan to assign more officers to walking beats, this popped out at me:
""This is a continuum of care," Central Precinct Cmdr. Mike Reese said. "We're trying a holistic approach.""
"Continuum of care" and "holistic approach" are phrases I hear all the time in treatment planning on the psychiatric unit at OHSU. And they're not used because they're trendy, but because nurses, doctors and support staff remind each other that each 8 hour shift, each patient assignment, is part of our clients' ongoing lives. We can't help them reach long-term recovery unless we address housing, income, community supports and ongoing medical care, as well as medicating their brain's disordered biochemistry.
I'm glad to read the language of caring in a report on Portland Police Bureau programs. Another recent article, Officer defuses deadly situation, gave credit to crisis intervention training, now mandatory, for giving Portland Officer James Nett the skills needed to reach a peaceful outcome with a man holding a gun. As with other civic issues, too often the media gives extensive coverage to Bad Stuff and a paragraph (if that) to Good Stuff. I hope you noticed the Good Stuff articles.