...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Wordplay of the day.

The word: "rendition." The player: the CIA. Example of previous common use of the word: "Here's Hoagy Carmichael's rendition of 'Stardust'." CIA usage: the act of transporting and turning over captured terrorist suspects to another country for interrogation (By the way, the Guardian was talking about it last July; worth registering to read).

As a professional in communication, I admire the inventive application of English words in the service of vivid writing and clarity of meaning. This, however, isn't an example of that. "Rendition," or "rendering," calls up visions of paint and paper, of music and musicians. Not that many of us know that "render" is a relative of "surrender." Most of us have to go digging to discover its roots. Such is the art of organizational word processing. "Rendering" wouldn't work--it also calls up pictures of hogs in vats of boiling water.

Let this be a lesson. If the name doesn't communicate, you must interrogate.

1 comment:

geoff said...

A slaughter house is also called a rendering plant is it not? Any connection?