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An addition to the federal dialect

There’s a new word federal officials can add to their lexicon of inherently governmental English.

The word is “effectuate.” It’s a verb of some sort that means something about bringing something about.

Let's use the word in a sentence. Margaret Daum, a senior Senate subcommittee staff director and lawyer, used effectuate this way during a panel discussion this week.

Government Accountability Office officials “are looking at the choices that are being made from a technological standpoint [regarding the Integrated Acquisition Environment] but also about whether the acquisition decisions that have been made are ‘effectuating’ the technological choices.”

Trust me, this word won’t be used beyond the Beltway, but those of you in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area can use it at will. File effectuate with other federal government-only words: promulgate, incentivization and, yes, sustainability.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 18, 2011 at 7:21 PM


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