Solutions, solutions

At a meeting today in another university a professor from that university, in describing one of its teaching programmes, called it a ‘learning solution’. At another university I visited recently the restaurant menu was headed ‘catering solutions’.

I have to admit I have a particular dislike of the word ‘solution’ used in this way. It seems to have entered common usage via marketing jargon, where every unnecessary product or service could be labelled a ‘solution’, to make it appear that it offered something useful in addressing real life problems. I really hope that this kind of nonsense doesn’t now become common in universities. We have enough jargon as it is.

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4 Comments on “Solutions, solutions”

  1. kevin denny Says:

    Going forward, a dynamic wide ranging review (involving key stakeholders) of terminology solutions is required. The terms of reference to be:

    to develop and foster a culture of evaluation and reflection and commitment to the maintenance of jargon.

    to keep under review and develop university jargon policy and procedures in line with international best practice

    to monitor issues relating to quality of platitudes and to make recommendations to Senior Management as appropriate

    to oversee and support units in undertaking jargon-assessment

  2. Vincent Says:

    that and logistics where used rather than ‘Movers’ or carriers of cargo.

  3. Hugh Says:

    This is nothing new. Thirty years ago, I heard an engineer describe three Portaloos in a field as a “sanitation complex”!!

  4. Well, if you can have problem-based learning, then “learning solution” was a disaster waiting to happen.

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