Buffy, Pass the Infographic

Setting: The Mrs. is seated in our living room with our oldest son "Big Guy" who is now in 4th grade.   She is helping him review for an upcoming exam. 
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THE MRS.: Hey, do you know what an infographic is?

ME: Umm, I can guess.

THE MRS.: It is a map.  Big guy's social studies textbook continuously refers to maps as infographics.



ME:  Dandy. 

I turn and address Big Guy seated on the couch across from his mom using my best attempt at an English/aristocratic accent.

ME: Buffy, hurry out to the motor room and retrieve from the red Lamborghini--now pay attention lad, I said the red auto, not the green or the blue one--my best infographic so that I can plot a fortnight excursion to Biff's next polo match. 

Little guy stares at me without expression, while the Mrs. frowns then turns her attention back to the textbook.

THE MRS: Don't you have a blog to write or something?

ME: Yes, I do ma'am.  Oh yes, I do...

At least I appreciate my own attempts at humor.

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Infographic for map?  Motor room for garage? 

Are there any odd terms that writers use that bother you--words that seems to complicate a description rather than enhance it?

28 comments:

Jennifer Hillier said...

I appreciate your humor! I laughed.

I think it's interesting that NaNo is a verb.

(That's all I got.)

Rita Elizabeth said...

Yes, you gave me a chuckle, too. I can't think of any obfuscating words writers use, but I can think of a fun British word: lorry. "Lorry" is so euphonious, unlike our guttural word, "truck," American synonym for "lorry." When I lived in England, I used to joke about this with my English friends.

Holly said...

Infographic - a new one to me. I like good writing that doesn't try to make up fancy words to confuse me...although motor room has a nice ring to it.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I would have never guessed that what an infographic was...I feel old!

lifeshighway said...

Oh I laughed and I laugh at infographic. Oh please.

Rita Elisabeth, don't force me to get out a dictionary.

Audrey Allure said...

Haha, I've never heard map being referred as an infographic before. I like your humor!

obladi oblada said...

I laughed too. Infograph? Never heard that one. Now Im going to be looking closely at everything I read to find over zealous words for stuff.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Infographic? No I know we are getting old.

Great accent. You really sold it.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

Some of the best humor is the kind you don't laugh out loud at. Then there's the very best when you can't stop laughing. Your face hurts, your belly hurts and you are afraid you will pee yourself.

Why, in this age of a disintegrating english language, are we changing the names of things that don't need a name change? I can understand some things for political correctness but maps?

Diane said...

I have never heard of infograph before and this it is bizarre.

I love your humor also. We all seem to have a taste for it here. :O)

Rachel Cotterill said...

I thought "infographic" also included those sort of mind-maps and various data-visualisation things that seem to have become so popular lately..... definitely not just-a-map. But what do I know...?

Hilary said...

Yup.. I'm with Rachael. A map can be an inforgraphic when it's in context with some other information. But it's not only maps. Still, you gave me a good laugh and I thank you for that. :)

Here's a page of infographics:
http://blogof.francescomugnai.com/2009/04/50-great-examples-of-infographics/

terri said...

I laughed! Then again, it's the kind of response I would have had if put in the same situation.

I have never heard of an infographic. But now I'm surely feeling old!

SuziCate said...

Ha, my kids usually don't appreciate my humor as much as I do either!

Z Joya said...

Humans surely know how to complicate things. I can live with yes, no and smiles:)

Dan said...

I think that the "real" definition of infographics excludes simple maps by definition. (Check out the wikipedia article).

So the real question is which teacher couldn't understand the true definition?

jodeeluna said...

I wouldn't know where to start with the complex words we educators use that do very little for describing what we mean. Come on, what does "utilizing researched-based, high utility instructional strategies to scaffold learning" really mean?

Don't get me going about those emails sent to us after the big wigs visit our classrooms, "Only forty percent were using core curriculum with higher order verbs that evidenced fidelity to the learning objective." Huh? Say what? Is it any wonder your son's textbook calls a map an infographic?

Reggie said...

Giggle... I could just picture that scene!

And after checking out Hilary's link, I'd say that THOSE are infographics.

When I'm the passenger in the car, I'll stick with the old-fashioned, "Have a look at the map, dear, we missed the turn-off back there... we'll have to do a u-turn up ahead..."

angelcel said...

LOL ...well my daughters' school came out at one evening meeting with the phrase 'learning resource centre' which was, of course shortened to LRC in notes handed out to parents. We wondered what the LRC was ... it was the new name for the library. Um...Why replace one word with three??

J. J. in Phila said...

And people get upset when I use the word "fortnight." ;)

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comments all, and for the insights as to what is an infographic.

Before posting, I looked up the term infographic and concluded that it was being used as a catch-all term for anything that is used to display information graphically--leaving wiggle room for the simple to the complex.

I'll have to see the context that the word was used from the kiddo's book (and perhaps the displays were enhanced maps) as I based this post on the conversation with the Mrs.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
If this were say...40-50 years ago, I just cannot see myself clear to pulling into the service station (remember THOSE?), and ask the attendant (who literally RAN to your car to service it) if he had any local infographics...!

I might either get shown were the red light district is, or get smacked in the mouth.

It's a freaking MAP...I wish they'd lay off all the PC jargon.

You'd think in the age of texting, the SMALLER the word...the BETTER, right?

BTW, Good accent...sounds like you're from Derbyshire...LOL.

Miss Caitlin S. said...

haha I love that you annoyed her (not because I hope she's annoyed, just because my boyfriend is annoying like that too but it's secretly amusing). Yeah that seems very over the top. It was funny when I finally realized that "Language Arts" that I've always said really just meant "English". I don't know if you know comedian Ron White but he's really funny about things like that though he's kinda crass.

aconnectiontomyheart said...

Oh gosh, has Map been made trite by Dora that teachers now have to use Iconographic.. Great, it seems to me that we need to go to school ourselves to get the kids educated.. ! Phew!
Also, is that to say you own not one but three Lambs.. Tsk, tsk you are spoilt!! There I just complicated the description for you!
Funny engaging post SD..

joanny said...

this was funny --- now to convince your family lol...

smiles
joanny

malone8 said...

As a writer, I can tell you that we use everyday words that our readers understand.

Infographic … not happenin'

Cheerio - Maxi

Diana said...

Bwahahahaha!

Even if I could think of some odd worded terms on this spur of the moment, you still win this one, hands down.

:D

Perpendicular said...

Ha-ha! Yeah, sometimes words complicate stuff that is really simple. It would be like using the term 'discombobulated' instead of saving letters by saying 'upset'...
But ya know what really gets me, is when people use all of these extra words to give a simple job a fancy title. ...Sort of like calling a person who washes dishes at a restaurant, a "Cookware Cleansing Specialist" or a person who drives a School Bus, a "Skilled Operator of Educational Transport-Equipment," and so on. Ha-ha!