Tired of a failure to connect the dots? Maybe not, but I suspect you're tired of the expression "failure to connect the dots."
A Tweet from Robert at Watercrunch provided the impetus for this post. In response to my saying that I was getting 'burned out' on water wars he suggested that we declare a truce and eschew the use of that term. I agreed.
But then I started thinking about some other phrases and words that have been overused by WaterWonks (yo tambien - me, too) and others (especially those who have no idea what they are talking about) as well. These have become clichés. So here's a short list.
1) Water is the new oil. How often have we heard this? Many times, for many years. Let's move on.
2) The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water. See #1 above. Enough said.
3) Integrate science and policy. How many times have you seen this as the tag line or in the title of an conference? Are the meeting convenors really going to do this or are they simply trying to broaden the attendee base? Isn't it obvious that we should be integrating science and policy?
4) Fish vs. farmers. This is a favorite term of media types and others who wish to simplify a (usually) complicated situation. It does a disservice to all involved.
5) Proclamations, principles, statements. Let's not forget those conferences and symposia that issue proclamations, principles, statements, agendas, etc. These things are usually required by conference sponsors who want to see some deliverables or outputs. In most cases, they state the obvious and are pretentious.
6) Sustainable, sustainability, etc. This has been used so frequently that it's lost meaning. We use it without defining it. As my former colleague David Brookshire (an economist) would ask whenever someone used this term, "Which of the 30 definitions are you using?" I used to think David was just being contrary, but ultimately realized he was correct.
7) Underground aquifers. Arrrgghhhh.....
8) Surface and groundwater. What they really mean is surface water and groundwater.
9) The water-energy (or water-whatever) nexus. Thanks to Gayle Leonard. This should have been first on my list.
10) Whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting over.' The quote attributed to Mark Twain. Regardless of who said it, let's retire it. Thanks to Aqua Blog Maven at Aquafornia and Todd Jarvis at Rainbow Water Coalition.
11) When the well's dry we know the worth of water. This quote, in various forms, is attributed to Ben Franklin. Good contribution from Todd Jarvis.
I will do my best to eschew the above.
Do you have some favorites? Feel free to post them and add to the list.
"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." – Isaac Asimov