Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Not the Final Frontier

A few weeks ago, I posted about the way business- and finance-speak have infiltrated everyday English.

Since then, I thought of an example of business-speak that wasn't mentioned in the article that prompted that post:


No, not the final frontier kind of space, or the place where you live, or anything physical like that. It's a use of the word space to mean industry or field. Maybe field would be the closest synonym, but that word may be too connected to academia. 

I'm not sure when I first became aware of this usage of space. It seems like about 20 years ago, but time is slippery these days. Maybe it was the 1990s.

Here's the phrase I heard the other day that made me think of this example of business-speak: "Innovation in the lightbulb space."

If I had heard that phrase back in 1980, I would have thought it was a typo.

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