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‘Guru’ – spoiler alert

23 May

I cringe every time I run into the word ‘guru,’  especially when it is used as a generic term foro someone who expounds on any topic. Just like the term ‘master class’ and ‘best of breed’ the word means nothing.

I spotted the word in an article describing my input at one of the upcoming events I am attending, so I want to get this out of my system: I am a part-time writer, full-time teacher, observer of odd trends, trouble-maker, critique, and occasional ‘help desk’ sherpa (at least in my day job) when it comes to the infuriating things we have to do with computers. However, that does not make me a guru. Please!

FOR THE RECORD, I ignore gurus. I avoid them like the swine flu. I carry a hand sanitizer to clean up every time I am introduced to someone who calls him or herself one. Social media experts/gurus/ninjas are a dime a dozen. Advertising Age recently ran a piece about there being some 181, 000 of these types.

The entry for the word guru on Wikipedia (which usually excels in dehydrated language) says it is “used to cover anyone who acquires followers, especially by exploiting their naiveté, due to the inflationary use of the term.”

There’s a deeper discussion of the term here, by author, B.R. Sharma. He says that “the absence of a guru, though, does not preclude learning and wisdom.” The corollary to which, I suppose, is: “the presence of a guru is no guarantee of understanding.”

Ok, I lied about the hand sanitizer part. But you get the point.

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