Performance evaluation euphemisms invading everyday speech (ironically)


There was a morning meeting event at which donuts were provided as an enticement. Someone commented on the food thus: "These donuts failed to meet expectations."

Peter Sagal remarked that the phrase "emerging to standard" has entered currency in his family as a euphemism for "substandard". (Opening panel round, final question, time code 1:20.) However, the proposal to replace "failed" with "deferred success" was ultimately defeated.

Comments (16)
  1. Nathan says:

    Please share the brand.

    I’m guessing the PNW doesn’t have Krispy Kreme, those are more southern. Dunkin Donuts are more NE. Are Tim Hortons in the US ? (and are they on the west coast ? I thought they were more east-coast Canadian-ish…)

    So yeah, where’d the bad donuts come from ? Those nasty grocery store donuts ? Entenmann’s ?

  2. Gabe says:

    I’m not sure what that time code 1:20 refers to. Is it supposed to be 10:20?

  3. I hate the term deferred success. Deferred sucess suggests that a sucess is guarenteed to occur at some point and this is by no means certain!

  4. Max says:

    Tim Horton’s is Canada-wide, and has invaded a few of the states surrounding Ontario (ie, New York, Michigan, Ohio, and a few in various other North Eastern states.

    List here: http://www.timhortons.com/en/join/franchise_us.html

  5. Mike says:

    I’ve also heard a "problem" often be described as a "solution starting point" by a former colleague.

  6. AC says:

    @Nathan

    Krispy Kreme has indeed invaded the pacific northwest. And during my time at Microsoft it was common to have them every Friday.

    I quickly became sick of them.

  7. pc says:

    I’m laughing imagining the sentence "Deferred success is not an option."

  8. JamesNT says:

    All this goes to prove something we have all known all along:

    HR is evil.

    James

  9. ::Wendy:: says:

    The BBC ‘ultimately defeated’ link,  was indeed ultimately defeated by a page not found error:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/suffolk/4724703.stm

    Is Raymond suggesting that when something simply doesn’t work we should call it a ‘page not found’ problem….  …I like it!

  10. When you think about it, cooking is similar to programming. You take functions/foodstuffs, combine them together to get a program/cake.

  11. Tomer Chachamu says:

    I am sick of those "deferred success" stories. There were a flurry of letters to the newspaper, all because of one crackpot teacher who couldn’t even get the closest possible group (teacher’s union conference) to agree with her.

  12. Cooney says:

    "emerging to standard" has entered currency in his family as a euphemism for "substandard"

    Heh. I think I’d get more irritated by phrases like that than by whatever prompted them.

    When you think about it, cooking is similar to programming. You take functions/foodstuffs, combine them together to get a program/cake.

    difference: if you add too much salt, the roast doesn’t explode (usually).

  13. James says:

    This reminds me of the change a nearby university made a few years ago: scoring below the pass mark on an exam would no longer be referred to as a "fail", but as "pass deferred".

    (At the other end of the scale, my own alma mater refers to fails as "you’re no longer a student here", which seems a little harsh…)

  14. Leif Arne Storset says:

    Sorry for being dense, but what is ironic about performance evaluation euphemisms invading everyday speech?

    It’s definitely funny though.

  15. Gabe says:

    Leif, the irony is in how the figures of speech are used. In other words, when a student’s report card indicates that he is "emerging to standard", it is not ironic. When I indicate that the beef at dinner is "emerging to standard", I am being ironic.

    The mere fact that euphemisms are invading everyday speech is not in itself ironic.

  16. Leif Arne Storset says:

    Gabe, thanks for the explanation.

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