Thursday, June 19, 2008


Levels of Distractibility: Who cares? = *. Some people will be distracted from your meaning: = **. Many people will be distracted from your meaning: = ***.

Question: I'm always being told to "implement" the curriculum. What exactly does "implement" mean?

Answer: First, as a noun, an implement is a tool. "When you are about to plant your vegetables, gather all of your gardening implements into one place." Nothing wrong with the word in that context.

As a verb, "implement" means to carry out some goal or task. The problem is that people have become tired of hearing it ad nauseam. It's a word that people use without thinking. It also makes the writer or speaker sound important. "I need to help people implement the curriculum." Whenever possible, use some simpler, alternative term for this overused, pompous piece of jargon: "fulfill," "accomplish," or "do," etc. "Will you please use the techniques suggested in the ninth-grade curriculum on grammar with your students?"

Rating of Distractibility: (*). By now most people are so accustomed to the monotonous repetition of the word "implement" as a verb that not many will notice it. However, if you use some simpler word, your directions are likely to be clearer, more definite and have greater effect on the people you are appealing to. Your listeners or readers are more likely to take notice of what you have said. If they hear the word "implement," they will fall instantly to sleep. "Implement" is a three-syllable soporific.

By the way, as a curriculum coordinator, I used the word many a time. I'm guilty in the first degree.

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