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When research yields a WTF?

The structure of my final Sweet Oblivion story seems to be baffling me. Did I start too soon? Too late? What is the conflict? What is the theme? And why am I suddenly psyching myself out about it? (Because it's the last one, obviously...)

So I decided tomorrow is going to be a brainstorming day, and being the geek that I am, I decided to look up brainstorming on Wikipedia just in case I could pick up some exquisite tip that hadn't occurred to me.*

After reading through the whole deal about various ways to brainstorm and rank ideas in a corporate setting, I came across this jewel at the bottom:

Controversy over term

Some governmental organisations (The Welsh Development Agency and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Belfast) have reached the conclusion that the term 'brainstorming' is offensive to people with epilepsy[10] (see political correctness). Some organisations have suggested the alternative "mind shower". However, research by the National Society for Epilepsy found of those affected by epilepsy questioned, 93% found the term inoffensive. Some resented the term "mind shower" because of the suggestion that people with epilepsy were, as a group, easily offended[10].

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorming

Dude. Seriously? I would totally be in the group that was offended the term "mind shower" because it implied they were too easily offended. Ironic or not.

*I did decide to tackle three specific writing questions separately based on reading the Wikipedia article, rather than attacking the story as an amorphous blob


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
Is the term brainstorming even related etymologically to epilepsy?
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
Not that I've ever heard! Maybe it's a UK thing. The places that complained were in Wales & Belfast.
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
wow, I have to ask, hope you don't mind - where did that fabulous, mesmerising icon come from?! :)
Aug. 21st, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
It's Karl Urban as Caesar in the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "When Fates Collide" from season 6. :-)
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
I had a major wtf (well, to be honest, a ROTFL moment) in the bookstore yesterday when I saw the book titled "The Idiot's Guide to Bipolar Syndrome." I think that's a bit more offensive than 'brainstorming.'
Aug. 20th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
I can see how the "Idiot's" and "Dummies" creators realized they had a good thing going, but certain subject matter just doesn't lend itself, does it?
Aug. 20th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I think political correctness has gone way to the stupid side.
Can I say that? I hope it's not politically incorrect to slam political correctness.

Why don't we just treat everyone the same and slam doors in everyone's faces? Or, as a friend of mine insists on saying, 'I'm not racist, I hate everyone.'
Aug. 20th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Can you imagine being in on the meetings where the epilepsy orgs are trying to draft their memos of protest? (And to whom, the dictionary people?)

That would be the day I ditch my day job. Or go huff rubber cement in the bathroom.
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
The minute I saw your post I was all ready to leap in and tell you how we're trying to politically Correct-icise it, but you'd already got there! Bizarre, isn't it?

Maybe it is just a UK-thing, but Hubby has been told to avoid the term in his high-school level teaching. I can tell you, I'm still storming my brain over here!

"Some resented the term "mind shower" because of the suggestion that people with epilepsy were, as a group, easily offended". Good for them!
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
Oh God, your hubby has actually been told not to use "brainstorming," that's insane. (Now watch all the crazy people lobby against me.)

If you're going to try to put the term out of usage, at least call it something like, "Idea Works" or "Freeplanning" or something catchy. Mind Shower? I'm stunned that one didn't get laughed out of the room.
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:52 am (UTC)
It sounds either like something we should all do wearing kaftans with flowers in our hair, or something rather wickedly SF-pornographic.

But then I'm corrupted that way by now. Like when son#2's all-boys school sends the newsletters home about watersports...
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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