A prelude to thinking in terms. (var. "surrounding the topic", "in the area of")
Linda Richman had it right. “I’m a little verklempt … talk amongst yourselves…I will give you a topic…the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.”
What courage! “Rhode Island …it’s neither a road nor an island. Discuss.” One word – discuss. Go for it, dammit! DISCUSS! Don’t futz around. Raise your voice, move your hands. Interrupt one another!
Sadly, we seem no longer to have the verve of Linda Richman. We are wimps. We don’t discuss.
We hold discussions around the topic of something.
"After Frank’s PowerPoint on the first quarter financials, we’’ll break for lunch. When we come back, from 1:30 to 3:00 we will hold discussions around the topic of setting a clear agenda."
Will we commit to an agenda? No. To setting an agenda? No. To the topic of setting an agenda? Also, no. Forget about any actual discussion of the topic either – discussion around the topic is what we’ll look forward to over tuna salad, Diet Coke and chips. And even that we will hold, not have.
So we dine in rapt anticipation of a fourth or fifth derivative of an actual bureaucratic event. Pity the corporate chef who has to compete with that. As for poor Frank and his Q-1 financials, well he may as well be teaching the last period sixth grade geography class before Christmas vacation. (Do they still have geography class? I am pretty sure they don’t have Christmas vacation. Exactly how old am I?)
Where does all this leave us? Well it only gets worse. Even if we roll back in from lunch and begin the process of opening a dialog about some issues affecting the potential setting of agendas, whether clear or otherwise, I have a sawbuck that says you’re going to find we’re still only thinking in terms of agendas.
Thinking in terms. Another gruesome turn, but don’t get me started! I am telling you, do not go there! Am I right people?
Almost time for some festooning. God, I love festooning.