My new column for the Visual Thesaurus – where I’ve been a contributor for 11 years – is about the shifting meaning of failure. A relatively recent addition to English, failure first appeared in the early 18th century, when it had the very specific meaning of “the act of failing in business.” It took another hundred years before a person could be called “a failure,” and the stigma of that label was damning.
No longer – at least, not in certain quarters. For tech entrepreneurs and self-improvement boosters, failure is “a stepping stone to success,” “the price you pay for progress,” and even a badge of pride.
Access to the article is paywalled; here’s an excerpt: