Do we need a cliché czar?

September 29, 2009

U.S. ‘pay czar’ Feinberg using formulas, not caps

China climate czar sees carbon targets “soon”

Even Miss Venezuela can’t escape economic crisis

“I’ve asked Osmel to be a bit stricter choosing 20 girls, so we only have the best,” Riviera added, referring to local beauty “czar” Osmel Sousa, who prepares the competitors.

Google Plans New Mirror For Cheaper Solar Power

“We’ve been looking at very unusual materials for the mirrors both for the reflective surface as well as the substrate that the mirror is mounted on,” the company’s green energy czar Bill Weihl told Reuters…

Venezuela says radars slow Africa cocaine flights

CARACAS, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Less cocaine-laden airplanes are reaching Africa since Venezuela installed radars covering the Atlantic coast and its southern border, the South American nation’s drugs czar said on Tuesday.

It’s time to stop using the word “czar” endlessly and incorrectly. Just as it’s time to give up on “gate” added to any semi-organized misbehavior. Using terms like these endlessly has become really boring and counter newsworthy. It’s like an older person trying to re-use the cliches and slang of his youth – or worse, his children’s slang.

You people are creative – you can come up with better more accurate words. Consult a thesaurus if you must, but stop calling every director, agency head, boss, chief and commander a czar.

D.J.

Thanks for your comments. I’m no fan of clichés, but the word czar packs a lot of information into four letters. The thesaurus offers alternatives like “big cheese,” “big wig” and “guru,” which aren’t much help.

There does seem to be room to cut back. Looking at some of our references just in the past month, I think we could do without a Venezuela beauty czar.

I also find a story reference to Czar Peter the Great, but I suppose that one is valid no matter what: GBU Editor

A Russian boy holds a portrait of the last Russian Czar Nicholas II during a religious memorial service in Kazan Cathedral in central St.Petersburg, May 18, 2004. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

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I could not agree more! I’m so SICK of hearing this word. It’s as bad as the ‘calculus’ trend. It’s not specific and doesn’t explain the persons relationship to what they oversee. If you have to write “so called” every time you use it, please just stop.

Journalism seems to be developing a lingo that sways with the trends of popular culture. Rather than using words that most accurately describe, they’re using those in favor at the moment.

Let’s get back to specifically describing, tell us their title, tell us their responsibilities – don’t be lazy and just call them a ‘czar.’

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