Jargon is not recyclable

I badgered my mother to start recycling in the 80s, when she otherwise couldn’t have been bothered. I try to compost. Sometimes I take my bike rather than a car. So while I’m not an environmental activist, I am not always part of the problem.

I like that being a little more conscious of our consumption habits is in fashion. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Previously I had drawn the line at the holier-than-thou preachy reusable bags they sold at Target. Not anymore.

Yesterday I saw a dog t-shirt that read “Green Dog” and had a recycle symbol on it. What? Are you planning on recycling your dog? Is he made out of all-natural, organic, fair trade ingredients? Does he take out the composting for you?

We have to stop using the word “green” blindly (so to speak). And if I hear one more “It’s not easy being green” Kermit jokes about recycling or eating local, I might crack. (As readers might have guessed, I’m always on the edge.)

When certain concepts are seen as trendy, whether technological, seasonal, or political, you see a lot of bad knockoffs and overuse and misuse of terms. You’ve seen the bad Coach bag knockoffs, highly inferior smart phones, and a major misappropriation of the humble clover leaf during March. The same happens in language. People use the word green until it becomes meaningless. How would you define it?

So be responsible with your language. Don’t be lazy in your thinking. Don’t slap the label “green” on dog clothes. Don’t let trends speak for you. Make your thoughts fresh through your language.

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2 responses to “Jargon is not recyclable

  1. Okay, I just saw that dog shirt thing on my way to work. Green dog: what does that even mean? Some would argue that the best way to conserve resources on dog-related products is not to put your dog in a shirt.

    I mean, it’s not a very thick shirt…if that’s the only thing standing between a very small dog and the frigid tundra that is New England, I feel like the dog might get very cold taking out the composting.

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