Recently I came across armchairing, another word that was new to me. It seems to me there are plenty of examples of armchairing in the modern world but often those doing it pretend they aren't. After all, who wants to admit they don't know what they are talking about or doing? On the other hand a person may honestly believe they have the whole story and therefore the authority to voice their opinion or act.
Definition of armchairing According to my current go-to reference, the Urban Dictionary, armchairing is, 'talking about or doing something with little knowledge of it, or not actually doing anything and having other people or objects do it on your behalf.'
Armchairing in relation to the news This word got me thinking about the complexity of many things that are reported in the news.
Many of us do a bit of armchairing from time to time, especially in the form of talking about matters we don't have much knowledge about. We may hold strong opinions on events or policies. Perhaps we have heard about the matter through the media or read an article or two and we think we know what's going on so we share our views. We may be in support of a person, the action someone or a country has taken or a policy or we may be against them based on the information available to us.
Often there is no way of knowing if we have valid information and also if we have the full picture. We may have seen a person say something in the media but we have no way of knowing if that statement was out of context or if it was edited and if so, why.
However, talking about what's happening in the news is a frequent topic of conversation and isn't conversing supposed to be good?
Armchairing in the workplace Sometimes a person gets a job where they are required to make decisions or act on matters they have limited knowledge of or their knowledge may be out of date. There may be people they can refer to but these people may also have limited knowledge in some aspects of the task or have their own agendas.
Upper management may have limited knowledge of what is happening at a grass roots level and their decisions may be an example of armchairing. If they get other people in the organisation to make decisions or act for them they will call it 'delegating' and in fact leaders/managers are expected to delegate.
How do you feel about armchairing? Do you feel everyone is entitled to voice their opinion even if they don't know what they are talking about? I feel if we all had to be certain we had all the facts before speaking up then most of the time no one would be entitled to say anything. Still, it can be annoying when you have a fair bit of knowledge and experience on a topic and someone who doesn't is dominating the conversation.
Hashtag The hashtag #Armchairing is sometimes used on Twitter. Does this mean the word is coming into more common usage?
Brief history of the word armchair According to Online Etymology Dictionary the word armchair originated in the 1630s. A chair with arms was sometimes called an elbow chair in the 1650s.
In 1886 the term 'armchair critic' came into usage meaning 'criticism of matters in which the critic takes no active part' .
Words fascinate me and 'new' words or variations are coming into usage all the time.