The Principals Office


Design is more or less an invented field. If you think about it, anyone could be a designer, you just gotta invent some stuff. Could be a radio-controlled toilet paper dispenser (patent-pending) or it could be as simple as some new bullshit phrase people like to say. For the lucky few, coining a phrase is the breakthrough moment in an otherwise mediocre career,  the jewel in the crown of their wikipedia bio. For instance, a person like Sara Driver, consequential only for nailing Jim Jarmusch, invents the phrase “necro-tourism” and 10 years later BAM! She’s being written about in The Principals Office.

Being useful is not a requirement for an invented word (although nary a day goes by without someone finding a use for “necro-tourism” in our studio). Counter-intuitively it’s an invented word’s useless-ness that is key. Case in point, the mother of all invented words: Guesstimate. A word so useless it’s practially begging to be called into The Principals Office.  Well you’ve got your wish Guesstimate, you’ve been called in, report!


Invented in 1934 by statisticians who refused to choose between “guess” and “estimate”, Guesstimate is the pinnacle of invented word fecktitude (the state or essence of being feckless). Wikipedia defines a Guesstimate as, “an estimate made without complete or adequate information,” which could also be the premise of making a guess, or the basis for performing an estimate, and before you know it you’re in the invented word vortex, drowning in the intellectual abyss where every word is the same, a synonym of itself, or same-onym of a guesstimate.

Grade: incomplete: impossible to determine, insufficient information.

The Principals are a Brooklyn-based interactive design studio 

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