Are you really going around it?

Somebody said it’s pretentious, but I prefer to say that it’s just in vogue. Ignorance, not affectation. I don’t know its history but I don’t like it. It’s not a big deal, but it’s my blog, so I can get petty if I want to. What is it? It’s the use of ‘around’ when ‘about’ is meant.

I only had to look at the first five results for ‘media release’/Australia in Google to find an example:

The event brings together the community and leaders in a conversation and public debate on issues around Australia’s identity and the future of our nation (emphasis mine) [http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/australia_day_address].

According to Roget’s there are only two meanings for ‘around’: ‘nearness’ or ‘surroundings’. See, neither of them suit what the Premier is trying to say. ‘About’ has both these meanings as well, but it also has a third that fits perfectly here: ‘concerning’. Alternatives are ‘touching’ or ‘regarding’.   Of the three I prefer ‘concerning’, but what’s wrong with a simple ‘about’?

If you haven’t noticed it you will, this being around things when there’s neither proximity or approximation meant. Just like when you last bought a car, that model will then be all about – or is it around?

Will you help me make it go out of vogue?

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1 Response

  1. Olivia 14/02/2015 / 8:39 pm

    I would love for this fad to go away. I think maybe it’s caught on because it allows a certain vagueness about the boundaries. Nothing modern management-speak likes more than to not have to be pinned down. Or is that just my venerable employer?

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