Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: transparency.

transparency. During the accounting scandals of 2001, when elaborate financial arrangements of major corporations were exposed as frauds on their stockholders, “transparency” became a vogue word for no-nonsense openness with information — e.g.: “‘Transparency in financial reporting, both to investors and internally, would make a big difference,’ [Michael] Synk added.” Mark Watson, “Seminar Will Look at Ethics in Business,” Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 15 Mar. 2003, at F2. The term proved so popular that it crowded out a former vogue phrase, “full disclosure,” in nonfinancial contexts as well — e.g.: o “‘I believe in transparency, and when I write a letter to Ashcroft, I expect an answer and I expect complete information,’ [Sen. Charles] Grassley said.” Eric Lichtblau & Adam Liptak, “On Terror, Spying and Guns, Ashcroft Expands Reach,” N.Y. Times, 15 Mar. 2003, at A1. o “If the arts board wants to improve its image, start by following its own rules, operating with transparency and abiding by the spirit of the open meeting laws.” Randy Krebs, “Our View” (Editorial), St. Cloud Times (Minn.), 15 Mar. 2003, at B7. o “The American Conference of Bishops has promised ‘transparency’ in disclosing information on child sexual abuse, she said, and ‘transparency means letting the public know the truth.'” Gina Macris, “Abuse Victims Call for Full Disclosure,” Providence J.-Bull., 17 Mar. 2003, at B1 (quoting Ann Hagan Webb). For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “When I begin to think of a developed paper or a book, I turn almost immediately to outlines. These grow in detail, almost to the point of producing the final prose.” B.F. Skinner, as quoted in Janet Emig, The Composing Process: Review of the Literature (1971), in Contemporary Rhetoric 49, 65 (W. Ross Winterowd ed., 1975).
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