2019's Top Jargon Nonsense Word is “Reimagine”
This year, everyone is reimagining something… except bullshit.
If you Google the word reimagine, you will enter a world of pure imagination. Not the kind of imagination you want, a sort of crappy version. Academic research, cities, culture, design, education, football, funerals, HR, passwords, public policy, services, venture capital and zoo — to name but a few — every noun and verb from A to Z has been reimagined. Even the alphabet has been reimagined.
To that end, I have reimagined the listicle here, to provide readers with a handy list of obvious reasons why reimagine is a word that should make even the most unrepentant jargonist wince with awkwardness.
- Reimagined things are basically the same thing as before
The Oxford English Dictionary says reimagine means:
reinterpret (an event , work of art , etc.) imaginatively .
Okay then. So when people say “We’ve reimagined the workplace” what they mean is they have reinterpreted the workplace imaginatively.
Hmm, reinterpret the workplace eh? Really. As what? The answer is the same, but different. Like when you wear clothes, but different ones. It is almost like by saying reimagine, you have reimagined the phrase same shit, different day.
Interestingly, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is also in the dictionary. It is defined as:
informal extraordinarily good ; wonderful
So next time you reimagine something, make sure the end result is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Otherwise your reimagined thing will be so close to the original thing, how will anyone know you’ve done anything at all?
2. Reimagining implies you lack actual imagination
To imagine, as a verb, is to form a mental image of something (imagine this room painted blue) or to believe the unreal is real (imagine I am a customer in a shop). All you need is a crayon and some blank paper to express your imagination.
To reimagine, is to reinterpret something imaginatively. It means you are unable to use a crayon and blank sheet of paper to express your idea, you need someone else to do that bit first, and then you can…