…or are you just plain lazy about language and choosing adjectives?
On Day 2 of Bar Camp someone gave a talk called “What does open in open data mean?” It was a serious and informative talk, and the speaker appeared to be well-prepared and capable yet she pushed a personal pet peeve when she said: “Someone must think potholes are sexy because there’s a lot of data about potholes.” Piffle.
If data has to be sexy to be worthy of being collected and made open, then we’re in serious trouble. Not to mention the implied sexual preferences of the person who finds potholes sexy. That’s one really weird fetish.
I wonder, is there a particular type of pothole they prefer over others? Do they go for something long and narrow they have to squeeze into, or do they prefer something deep and round they can roll around in? Do they prefer them bone dry, or do they wait till it rains, then put their rubbers on and rush out to mess around in a pothole full of muddy rainwater? Perhaps they prefer them slippery, a couple of days after it’s rained, when the water has evaporated and the pothole is a miniature pond of wet mud they can slide in and out of.
Bleah. I don’t think so, but then as a society we’re pretty free with – and tolerant of – our use of sexuality as a lure, and everybody has their sexual preferences. If somebody wants to have sex in a pothole, or even with a pothole, I doubt there’s a law to stop them – unless it’s in a public place, or with a minor!
So why on earth would what seemed an intelligent woman use the adjective ‘sexy’ in that way? Where did this pathetic misuse of the word start? And why do people propagate it? Just because somebody else uses it that way doesn’t make it a good choice. Linguists? Has anyone explored this misuse?
Sexy is an adjective to describe sexual arousal NOT human interest. We are more than our sex drive, more than our sexuality. So why misuse the word? What’s the goal? I’m sure it’s the same as advertisers who use sexy images to lure in potential customers. As far as I’m concerned misusing the word sexy in a talk about a serious topic at a conference is just as bad as using booth bunnies at a conference. In fact it may be even worse because it makes the speaker look bad and suggests people need to be sexually aroused to have their brains engaged.
I’m fed up with it. It’s just plain dumb. Besides, there are more valid reasons why there would be a lot of data about potholes.
- Potholes expected to cause rise in car insurance claims (money.marksandspencer.com)
- Driver wins pothole case to pave the way for others to follow (first4lawyers.com)
- Potholes: commentary (telegraph.co.uk)
- Pothole action group Wicklow (thepressnet.com)
- Open Data Events – Meet like minded folk (scraperwiki.com)
- BarCampBrighton, The Tube & London Transport Museum Hack Day (london-underground.blogspot.com)
- Open Data: Help “Make it Real” (mt-soft.com.ar)
- How to Find Link-Worthy Data (mt-soft.com.ar)