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Hey, Baby – Wanna Facilitate Some Mixity?

(Tony Proscio, our resident jargon hunter, primarily seeks out words that clutter, confuse and generally muddy conversations about philanthropy. But as he recently discovered, our field isn’t alone in creating words that have no place in anyone’s daily conversation.)

Guest Post: Tony Proscio

In a blog entry in the  New York Times last week about architecture criticism, I came across this familiar-sounding complaint:

“[F]ar too often the experience of reading architectural writing feels about as pleasurable as tooth extraction. To wit (with all apologies to the author, who will remain unidentified):

ANALYSIS: a territorial and social fragmentation, a typical “no-man’s land” undergoing the urban exodus, the settlement of the old and inactive persons, the absence of public place in the body scale substituted by the car.

PROBLEMATIC: How to attract a new living to facilitate the social and urban mixity?

We can’t entirely blame the perpetrator of this crime, for it is this style of writing that is rewarded within academia. Indecipherability signifies superior intelligence. (The field of architecture is not alone in this …) And while I’m not suggesting we hew toward the lowest common denominator, architects and those who write about them are doing themselves a disservice by insisting on the impenetrability of discourse.”

Philanthropy may be an especially bad place for phony elitism — but obviously we’re not alone. From the sound of that quote, we may not even be the worst.

Quick, everybody: Where’s the first place we can work “mixity” into a foundation report?


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