I’ve compiled an A-Z of words and phrases from The Word Spy (excepting a few, marked with an asterisk *) spanning a range of environmental, social and communication topics that could be useful or relevant to sustainability change agents in their work.
Some you may have already heard of, some might make you laugh, some might give you exactly the phrase or concept you need in your next presentation or article. Example citations of each entry can be accessed by navigating through to The Word Spy site.
Warning: if you are a connoisseur of words, a lover of lexicon, there is a fair chance you might disappear into this site for some time.
A – Apocalypse Fatigue
Reduced interest in current or potential environmental problems due to frequent dire warnings about those problems (related: Threat Fatigue).
B – Biomimicry
Design and manufacturing principles and practices that mimic natural materials or processes.
C – Climate Po*rn
Extreme or alarmist language or images used to describe the current or future effects of man-made climate change.
D – Dysrationalia
The tendency to think or act irrationally in certain situations, despite having sufficient intelligence.
As discussed in a previous post, having an intellectual understanding of something is no guarantee of a ‘rational’ reaction.
E – Exemptionalist
A person who discounts or ignores societal or environmental problems because they believe that intelligence and technological prowess make humanity exempt from the natural processes that govern other species.
F – Flotsametrics
The use of floating debris to study ocean currents (blend of flotsam and metrics).
G – Green Scamming
Making a group or product appear more environmentally friendly than it is (see also Greenwash).
H – Hurry Sickness
A malaise where a person feels chronically short of time, and so tends to perform every task faster and to get flustered when encountering any kind of delay.
I – Impossible Hamster *
Invented by the new economics foundation to explain why we can’t have perpetual growth on a finite planet.