|This series is inspired by the "Words From|
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
A word that once drew shame is now thrown around like a dart at people and situations we consider substandard and inferior to our sensibilities. I see this word used way too often in too much hyperbole. But since it's fun to toss about, I don't expect that to change.
I don't expect people to understand the nuances, either. A distinct difference exists between a failure and something that just didn't work. Failure, as hyperbolism now defines it, implies spectacular loss or defeat -- epic failure! Many times failure isn't epic; it's the inability to achieve something at a particular moment, despite having the necessary preparation, smarts or equipment.
Look it at this way: The University of Arizona Wildcat basketball team has gotten into the NCAA playoffs nearly every year in the 17 years I have been in Tucson, yet they have only made it to Final Four once in those 17 years. I don't consider that a failure. They have played their tails off and taken some grueling losses. Some teams were sub-par in some years, but you don't get deep into the tournament if you don't have the skill set.
So failure is a matter of perspective. In absolute disasters, the word fits unequivocally. Other times, it's just one of those trendy buzzwords.