How about "deferred intelligence"?
Even the hard-knock Brits are sometimes subjected to the touchy-feely politics of their own education establishment. At next week's annual conference of the Professional Association of Teachers, Liz Beattie, a retired school teacher, will recommend that the word "fail" be abolished from classrooms and replaced with the less offensive "deferred success." Ms. Beattie explains that "some children who have a problem are being turned off the whole education process . . . simply because failure is a thing they see quite a lot of." Here's a thought: Spend some time debating how to better EDUCATE them so they experience less "deferred success" and more actual success. On second thought, though, blurring the harshness of bad "F" words may have merit elsewhere; think of all the surly teenagers who could claim "deferred employment" rather than "getting fired" from fast food joints.
"Call to ban word 'failure' from schools," by Michael Blackley, The Scotsman, July 20, 2005
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