Stop Saying “Rigor”

I ranted a little today about a word that’s bothered me for a while.

Even if you scramble around for a definition that’s not so offensive the best you get is: “thorough and exactness.”

Even those words easily can be translated to inflexible or “my way or the highway”.  I don’t get the fascination with some people and this word. This document doesn’t even define the term and this one says:

There are many definitions of the noun rigor, most of them related to some form of physical or mental rigidity or severity. Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of logical rigor—“strict precision or exactness”—seems at least relevant to the educational context. The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English defines the related adjective rigorous as “extremely thorough. ” Yet neither of these definitions satisfactorily conveys the intent behind the word. To me, rigor implies the reaching for a higher level of quality in both effort and outcome.
“To me?” So now we’re just making up definitions? I’m not entirely opposed to the intent here but have to believe there’s a better word. As I said in the podcast, help me eliminate this word from the educational vernacular. It’s an awful word to describe learning. 

 

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