Word a Day

Word a Day: Paradigm

I’m a fan of speaking intelligently, and even eloquently. However, I often run into people who say something along the lines of, “Why people usin’ them big ol’ fancy words and whatnot?” The Word a Day project is where I attempt to do my part in eradicating that sort of mindset, in hopes that we can all grow our vocabularies and learn to express ourselves in more diverse and meaningful ways. Some of these are words I knew before starting this project, some are not. Let’s learn together.

Paradigm – a typical example or pattern of something; a model; a worldview underlying the thoeries and methodology of a particular scientific subject

noun: paradigm
plural nouns: paradigms

A paradigm isn’t just something a douchebag business guru talks about shifting at every turn, as if it were a pair of underwear that rightly needed to be discarded and changed daily. It’s an actual thing, more or less, with more being that it’s a description of a thing that happens to be the way we view a thing. Make sense? Probably not, but that’s because your paradigm of understanding what I’m saying sucks. The problem is you.

Think of it as a pattern, or a system of patterns of which we view other things, or perhaps by which we work. For instance, if I go to Wal-Mart and choose to use the self-check out lane because I believe it’s faster, my paradigm could use some good old fashioned rearranging, because we know that shit is hardly any faster than a normal check out lane. A paradigm is the framework by which we perceive a set of rules or standards, and thusly operate as a result. Some people believe the toilet paper should roll from underneath, so they place the first ply accordingly. This is a paradigm held by some people, and we refer to them as terrorists.

Can you use it in a sentence, please?

“Hey, girl. Why don’t you let me shift your paradigm a little? What? What’s this sexual harassment lawsuit you’re serving me? I’m talking business!”

Do people actually use this word anymore?


Actually, it was hardly used at all before the era of BIG BUSINESS took over society and ruined everything. Attica, man!


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