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CIO Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Adrian Bridgwater, Ed Featherston, Jackie Kahle, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

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Article

Word Choice is Important; Cloud Computing No Exception

I Don't Like Most Euphemistic Language, Although "Legacy" is Just Fine

To me, as a writer, words are important. I don't always use them elegantly or precisely, but it is always my aim to do so. So I was struck today by a particularly egregious use of "tolerated," in a statement by the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles regarding a thuggish incident at Dodger Stadium.

According to all reports, a fan was attacked, from behind, and put into the hospital in an induced coma, for no other reason than wearing the "wrong" team's hat and jersey to the game. The mayors pronounced this behavior as something that wouldn't be "tolerated."

This may be the quintessential euphemism of the watered-down dialog that passes for conversation today. Jumping in line shouldn't be tolerated. Noisily conversing on your cool new phone on a bus shouldn't be tolerated. But trying to murder a guy for no reason is behavior that should be met only with the severest of consequences.

By de-fanging the language, consistently, in such fashion, we've forgotten how to talk. We've forgotten how to communicate. And we'll never solve our deepest problems in doing so. The covert dishonesty of such usage jibes well with the fundamental dishonesty of most political discourse today.

We don't in fact need a more civil discourse; we need a more honest discourse. Not that we need to go into full-blown, psychotic Sheenesque truth-telling mode. But people need to re-learn to say what they mean and mean what they say. If there's some rough and insulting language in there, so be it.

So let's not talk about "issues" you may have with your IT, let's talk about the problems. Let the "solutions" be replaced by the "fixes" and "answers." Don't "optimize" stuff, make it run faster and cheaper instead.

And please don't get hung up on private vs. public cloud, and all the XaaS desgnations. They can be useful as part of your own roadmap and journey to Cloud, but the key is to do what you want to do, not what vendors have put into their own little boxes for you.

It's OK to talk about consolidation, though. I can't think of a better word.

And "legacy" is OK with me, too. I don't like the word "old."

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.