DO NOT LEGITIMIZE "INFOTAINMENT"

By M. Grant Winston, Managing Editor

There is a commercial airing right now for the Chevrolet Malibu that is so offensive, that I want to throw my shoes at the TV every time I see it. Why? The use of the word, "infotainment". This word is a pejorative describing the content free garbage that the tabloid press and the idiot box pass off as news, not my car stereo with a GPS navigation system, or a hands-free system for my cell phone crammed into it. Stop saying that.

General Motors is not the only offender in this wholesale slaughter of the English language. I have heard Ford people saying this as well. This awful idea could have only come from a boardroom. No normal human would commit such an abomination. One high level executive probably suggested "letís put a stereo, a GPS and a hands-free thingy together. We'll call it the infotainment center!" Instead of asking whether he was trying to make a joke, or had been smoking something, all the butt-kissing yes men who lack the balls to do anything but cheerlead said, "Yes sir, brilliant idea sir!" At very least, they should have laughed and said no. At most, they should have taken him to the roof of the office tower and thrown him off.

I hate it when boardroom jargon weasels its way into casual conversation. I wince, and can feel all the hair on the back of my neck standing up. Springing to mind first are words like "pro-active", "paradigm-shift", "leverage" used as a verb, and "solution" used to mean a million things other than the answer to a problem or a liquid mixture. The Word "extreme" no longer has any meaning whatsoever. "Penultimate" means second to last, not even better than the best. "Decimate" means to eliminate 10 percent of something, not to completely destroy it.  Once misuse of terms becomes rampant, people don't even realize they are doing it any more. For example, a car cannot collide with a bridge. A collision is when two moving things hit each other. Stationary objects can't collide! Hearing these words makes me want to punch the one saying them in the nose.

As Howard Beale so eloquently stated, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore. I hope people will join me in writing to GM and Ford about polluting our language with boardroom nonsense by trying to legitimize words like "infotainment".

GM Contact Us Page: http://www.gm.com/toolbar/contactUs.html

Ford Contact Us Page: http://www.ford.com/help/contact/

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