Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Today's Microspeak is the word calibration.
It used to mean the act of
adjusting a piece of measuring equipment against a known standard
so that it can perform its job accurately.
For example, before
reading student essays,
I go through a calibration exercise,
wherein all the readers are given a handful of essays of varying quality
and discuss what grade each one deserves
so that our scores will be consistent with each other.†
And then I see the word used in a way that convinces me that
I don't know what it means any more.
Consider this sentence:
I would like to
get calibration on that individual from those who know him.
How do you "get calibration"?
What is this person trying to say,
and why won't he use plain English?
Obviously, since there is a human element involved,
the scores cannot be absolutely consistent.