[Air-l] Research request: word search

Ken Friedman ken.friedman at bi.no
Sun Apr 3 21:30:03 PDT 2005

Dear Colleagues,

The Danish designer and author Per Mollerup wrote me a query.

He seeks a word for a specific concept to describe situations when more of
something yields a worse result than fewer.

One example he gives is when you water a plant just enough, it helps the
plant, while giving it too much water kills it.

Standards are another case in point. If you have one standard for an entire
field, you are standardized. If you have twenty standards in the same field,
you are less standardized..

Per also gives the example of romance. If you have one romance, it is
romantic. If you have one hundred romances going on at the same time,
it won't be romantic at all.


He suggests naming these phenomena with a neologism,


I have the sense that a word may already exist to cover such cases, but
I can't recall it.

If anyone knows of such a word, I will welcome a note at

<ken.friedman at bi.no>

Thank you.


Ken Friedman
Professor of Leadership and Strategic Design
Department of Leadership and Organization
Norwegian School of Management

Design Research Center
Denmark's Design School

+47 06600           Tlf NSM
+47    Tlf Office
+47    Tlf Privat

email: ken.friedman at bi.no

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