Terminology Thread (or “name that pattern”)

I think there’s wide­spread as­sent on LW that the se­quences were pretty awe­some. Not only do they elu­ci­date upon a lot of use­ful con­cepts, but they provide use­ful short­hand terms for those con­cepts which help in think­ing and talk­ing about them. When I see a word or phrase in a sen­tence which, rather than do­ing any se­man­tic work, sim­ply evokes a pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tion to the reader, I have the use­ful han­dle of “ap­plause light” for it. I don’t have to think “oh, there’s one of those...you know...things where a word isn’t do­ing any se­man­tic work but just evokes a pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tion the reader”. This is a com­mon enough pat­tern that hav­ing the term “ap­plause light” is tremen­dously con­ve­nient.

I would like this thread to be a lo­ca­tion where peo­ple pro­pose such pat­terns in com­ments, and re­spon­dents de­ter­mine (a) whether this pat­tern ac­tu­ally ex­ists and /​ or is use­ful; (b) whether there is already a term or suffi­ciently-re­lated con­cept that ad­e­quately de­scribes it; and (c) what a use­ful /​ prag­matic /​ catchy term might be for it, if none ex­ists already.

I would like to pro­pose some rules sug­gested for­mat­ting to make this go more smoothly.

(ETA: feel free to ig­nore this and post how­ever you like, though)

When propos­ing a pat­tern, in­clude a de­scrip­tion of the gen­eral case as well as at least one mo­ti­vat­ing ex­am­ple. This is use­ful for es­tab­lish­ing what you think the gen­eral pat­tern is, and why you think it mat­ters. For in­stance:

Gen­eral Case:

When some­one uses a term with­out any thought to what that term means in con­text, but to elicit a pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tion in their au­di­ence.

Mo­ti­vat­ing Ex­am­ple:

I was at a con­fer­ence where some­one said AI de­vel­op­ment should be “more demo­cratic”. I didn’t un­der­stand what they meant in con­text, and upon quizzing them, it turned out that they didn’t ei­ther. It seems to me that they just used the word “demo­cratic” as dec­o­ra­tion to make the au­di­ence at­tach pos­i­tive feel­ings to what they were say­ing.

When I think about it, this seems like quite a com­mon rhetor­i­cal de­vice.

When re­spond­ing to a pat­tern, please spec­ify whether your re­sponse is:

(a) wran­gling with the defi­ni­tion, use­ful­ness or ex­is­tence of the pattern

(b) mak­ing a claim that a term or suffi­ciently-re­lated con­cept ex­ists that ad­e­quately de­scribes it

(c) sug­gest­ing a com­pletely fresh, hith­erto-un­coined name for it

(d) other

(ETA: or don’t, of you don’t want to)

Ob­vi­ously, up­vote sug­ges­tions that you think are wor­thy. If this post takes off, I may do a fol­low-up with the most up­voted sug­ges­tions.