Monday, February 21, 2011

This is a Boondoggle

This is a boondoggle. It's a craft project that we used to do in Boy Scouts so that we had something to put our keys on.

via Etsy Crap

Now, the overuse of the term boondoggle to describe projects that may or may not be bad but rather the writer doesn't like because its a hefty investment is epic. I find that its mostly writers and columnists who also use the phrases:

Streetcar Named Desire - Seriously. Stop it. It wasn't cool the first time you thought of it for an article headline, what makes you think its original the millionth time? Searching for an article on streetcars shouldn't bring me every mom and pop production of a a Tennessee Williams play.

19th Century Technology - So was the car. Karl Benz is the originator of the four stroke engine we know today in 1885. Frank Sprague made electric traction (electric railways) usable en masse in 1887. Also Portland Cement that we use in concrete was from the 1840's.

Driving pays for itself - I'm not going to waste time typing what people that read this blog already know.

If anyone has any other terms that the opposition uses that drive you nuts because of their truthiness, please use the comment section below. I saw boondoggle for the umpteenth time today while reading some articles, and it kinda made me want to hurl. But I wrote this to vent instead.


Jeffrey Jakucyk said...

Bonus points for using both boondoggle and beleaguered. The latter was the favorite adjective for describing Apple Computer about 10 years ago.

Ryan L said...

"Choo Choo to Nowhere" and "Trolley"

Both very annoying. Also any time they bring up the subway to defend their claims that the streetcar will fail.

Michael D said...

White elephant!

Streetcars. (When the project is separated LRT with wide spacing).

Bob Davis said...

Politics is the art of getting everyone to pay for what you think is important. What a lot of these folks who think electric railway lines of various configurations and velocities are "boondoggles" seem to forget is that gasoline isn't going to get any cheaper, and the best way to use electricity (which can be generated by many methods, not of which involve the Middle East) is to power electric cars and locomotives.

Dexter said...

"It will never pay for itself," "no one will ride it because everyone drives." This conveniently overlooks the notion that people are tired of being stuck in traffic. Ah, one man's boondoggle is another man's vital project.
"Buses can fill the same purpose (but you'll never get me on a bus) for less." "Rail is inflexible, buses are flexible." Ah, but developers are not attracted to bus lines.

Taco said...

"______ agenda"
transit agenda

It gives off the idea that whatever group that his this "agenda" is plotting something, something evil against the common good. It also seems to suggest that everyone identified in the blank space is working in unity to achieve this agenda.

EngineerScotty said...

Of course, many of these terms of abuse can be easily turned against the highway lobby, or equivalent terms manufactured.

5chw4r7z said...

the tax payer will get stuck footing the operational bill.

Anonymous said...

If someone uses the boondoggle in this day and age I immediately ignore their comment. Its a standard rule that is working well.

Daniel Sparing said...

Hahaha this is a great collection thanks :)

My addition would be:
"invest in" roads
"subsidize" transit

of course no one stops us to invert the usage ;)

Daniel Sparing said...

Hahaha this is a great collection thanks :)

My addition would be:
"invest in" roads
"subsidize" transit

of course no one stops us to invert the usage ;)

Andrew In Ezo said...

Not arguments, but cliched terms used by newspaper editors in ledes:
"off the tracks"

Adam said...

here's a great resource for debunking bogus arguments against transit:


Ben Williams said...

It's especially annoying here in New Orleans! Every streetcar project is deemed "A Streetcar Named Desire" in outside newspapers and blogs, regardless of its orientation. Just because a streetcar touches the French Quarter does not mean it'll be full of fragile Southern belles from a bygone era.