William Safire

What’s Better Than “an Abundance of Caution?” Answer: “a Paucity of Recklessness”

[Note to Readers: in the wake of the jarring news that President Trump and a growing number of his inner circle have been stricken with Covid-19, the phrase “out of an abundance of caution” is once again making the rounds (Example: “After attending a White House ceremony without a mask earlier this week, Congressman So-and-So...
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“Out of an Abundance of Caution” . . . & Its Opposite

The Buried Mea Culpa Once upon a time, the likes of William Safire and George Carlin could be counted on to call out linguistic curiosities. In that spirit, I offer up the very confused expression, “Out of an abundance of caution.” Overcompensating Practically dripping with CYA (“Cover-Your-A**”), it’s almost always invoked by a contrite person...
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Time to Pivot Away From the Word “Pivot”

From Flailing to Flourishing, With No Pain or Sacrifice “GE Capital Chief to Retire After Pivoting GE’s Finance Arm” –headline, The Wall Street Journal (8/30/2016) Once upon a time, corporations, sports teams, and election campaigns(!) that were flailing underperforming got restructured, overhauled, or otherwise remade (presumably, into something more focused, efficient, and — hopefully —...
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