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May 20, 2021
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
Hoyle
Houdini
tawdry
McDonaldization
pooh-bah

mcdonaldization
“You found a human hair in your sandwich? That’s not possible. We don’t use natural ingredients.” (Also)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

McDonaldization

PRONUNCIATION:
(muhk-dah-nuhl-dai/duh-ZAY-shuhn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Standardization that focuses on efficiency, predictability, control, etc., at the expense of individuality or creativity.
2. The spread of the influence of American culture.

ETYMOLOGY:
After McDonald’s, a fast-food chain started by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940. Earliest documented use: 1975. Also see McJob.

NOTES:
When I was in graduate school, I had a friend from Ethiopia who was doing his PhD in mechanical engineering. He once told me that when traveling, no matter where, he felt at home once inside a McDonald’s. He knew he’d find his familiar food -- no surprises. One person’s homogenized blandness is another’s familiar comfort.

USAGE:
“The educators will be forced to take the vision of the economists and turn that into reality ... success will be measured by achievement tests alone. In that sense, I feel that the Dovrat report symbolizes the McDonaldization of Israeli schools.”
David B. Green; “It’s Unconscionable That the Voice of the Teachers Is Not Heard”; The Jerusalem Report (Israel); Mar 7, 2005.

“Huntington is skeptical about the implications of the McDonaldization of the world.”
Wendell Bell; Humanity’s Common Values Seeking a Positive Future; The Futurist (Washington, DC); Sep/Oct 2004.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn't, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence. -Honore de Balzac, novelist (20 May 1799-1850)

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