Some of the normalizing rhetoric we’re seeing right now is a lot like what happened after 9/11. When we were all supposed to support the economy to fight terrorism. We supported the economy and we got the terrorists anyway. Even Dubya voted against the terrorists. Part of the normalization is going to come through vocabulary. We’re already seen the worst marketing impulses affect the better companies. Words have meaning and they should be applied accurately. For some reason, I expect to see “courage” to be the next word to fall. It’s already been devalued. But when returning to your own normalcy isn’t courage, it’s natural attrition. Words with meaning—courage, aspire, inspire, dedicate—get coopted for marketing (both of products and “self”). Marketing is normalizing. Resist the attrition, of course, but don’t claim it as courageous.

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