Tuesday, August 08, 2006


David Bollier has taught me many things, the latest being this term, lingo-piracy. It has to do with the trademarking of common words used for uncommon purposes. In the story Bollier writes at On the Commons he notes the international community's use of Brazilian names for certain fruits. These words are used to name something else, trademarked, and then the trademarks enforced. When locals try to sell their produce (using its generic name) on the international market they get busted for trademark infringement.

Can you imagine if anyone tried this in the land of philanthro-jargon? If Tony Proscio were a greedier capitalist he would have spent his time suing colleagues for their use/misuse of the terms "leveraged," "incentivize," and "operationalize" rather than simply writing books and creating Jargon Finder

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