Sunday, August 31, 2008

Word of the Week: flexicurity

Flexicurity appeared in a column by Carol Goar in the Toronto Star on Friday, August 29, 2008. I found the word intriguing and her comments and commentary quite interesting -- so rather than add my own two cents, I recommend you read her column.

One thing I will add, however, is that -- out of curiosity -- I checked Word Spy to see whether they have caught the word. Remember, Word Spy is dedicated to defining terms that have appeared in newspapers and magazines. I was surprised to see that flexicurity goes back to at an Associated Press article from 1997!

Here's how it's defined in Word Spy: flexicurity n. Labor practices that give companies the flexibility to fire workers as needed and offer fired workers the security of government-backed benefits and retraining opportunities. —adj. [Blend of flexibility and security.]

So -- though I agree with Ms. Goar that it's faintly Orwellian, I suspect that in months and years to come, flexicurity will catch on -- both as a word, and as a labour policy.


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