Not that I am in a foul mood or anything - just time for a bit of a curmudgeonly rant. I get quite put off by trendy phrases that are PC code, meaningless inanities, or simply stupid. Having read several in one issue of the local paper, I cannot hold back!!
Celebrate - Publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity. "They were celebrating their wedding anniversary at a restaurant". Perform (a religious ceremony) publicly and duly, in particular officiate at (the Eucharist). "He celebrated holy communion". Synonyms - commemorate, observe, mark, keep, remember, memorialize.
However, it is often used as code for "you should embrace, or accept, X" And if you don't, you are a bigot, idiot, close-minded [pick your pejorative] person. Well, call me what you want, but I will limit my celebrations to birthdays, certain holidays, and very special events.
Diversity - The state of being diverse; variety. "There was considerable diversity in the style of the reports". Diverse - Showing a great deal of variety; very different. "A culturally diverse population" Synonyms - various, sundry, multiple.
Obviously the word has been around for a long time, but now a primary definition has become the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization. And in this context, it is often joined with 'celebrate'. Pardon me if I don't feel like partying because we are different. Basically, we are all different from one another, and some more different than others. I certainly appreciate many of the difference I see among folks, but I certainly see some differences that are assuredly not a reason for celebrations. One of my favorite lampoons of the extremes of the diversity-talk is Dilbert's take on 'diversity of opinion' - a guarantee that no one will agree, consensus will not be achieved, and nothing will be accomplished!!
Vulnerable - Susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm. "We were in a vulnerable position". Synonyms - helpless, defenseless, powerless, impotent, weak, susceptible.
Amazingly, it has become hip to 'celebrate', 'embrace', and even find 'power' in being vulnerable! Excuse me Ms. Brown, but that sounds a lot like an oxymoron to me. It seems to me as though the psychobabble has co-opted the simple interpretation of the word to construct an idea that our imperfections equate to our vulnerabilities, that we either try to hide, ignore [or heaven forbid, try to improve on] such weaknesses, and that the way to address our vulnerabilities is to 'embrace' our vulnerabilities in order to ......???? Admittedly, I have no truck with much of psychology, but my take is to either improve on my weaknesses or hire folks who can cover them for me!! :-)
Breakthrough - An act of overcoming or penetrating an obstacle or restriction; a military offensive that penetrates an enemy's lines of defense; a major achievement or success that permits further progress, as in technology. Synonyms - turn of events, quantum leap, discovery.
My most recent encounter with the annoying use of this word was President Obama - he recently promised that 2014 would be a breakthrough year. Now, exactly what the H does that mean? He was referring to the wonders of the AHCA, unemployment, the economy, and maybe his dogs - but breakthrough?? He sounded an awful lot like the prosperity gospel preachers who are always promising a financial breakthrough, the charismatic preachers who always foresee a spiritual breakthrough, the cancer researchers who are always announcing a treatment breakthrough, and so on For me, real breakthroughs are rare, as in the synonym, quantum leap. Things like flying machines, Einstein's work, going to the moon, and many other major steps forward in various disciplines.
I could go on for a while, but it is likely not good for my blood pressure!