‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
Remediation, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, comes from the stem of the Latin remediare, and remedy comes from the same root. It’s been educational jargon since about 1975 and means to set something straight, or put something right. It implies that there is a fault or deficiency that needs to be addressed. In some circles remedial is a synonym for stupid.
Unless you are taking part in #CLMOOC. In that case, we are told, the word is being used differently:
Remediation—as we’ll be thinking about it here—is unrelated to another use of the term in education: we are not talking about “remediating kids” as in “remedy”-ing them. Here, the focus is on media, and ways in which moving from one medium to another changes what we are able to communicate and how we are able to do so. Email
Ok, so I get it. It’s a play on words. Except I don’t think it’s a very clever one. I think that whoever came up with the idea of using remediate this week didn’t really think it through. I tried to ignore it, but it’s been bugging me more and more as the week has progressed. Kevin tried to convince me in a comment on an earlier post of mine, but I am digging in my heels, sticking to my guns, folding my arms firmly and saying just gonna NO.
This is reminding me of folk who try to “reclaim” words like b**** and c*** However they choose to use them within their circles, there are going to be others who are not party to their use, and it is going to confuse or upset. So either use one of the many words we already have for the purpose: remix, repurpose, hack … or make up a new one.Unless you’re Humpty Dumpty. And we all know what happened to him.