Explicit Operational Program (272)

This essay is reproduced here as it appeared in the print edition of the original Science for the People magazine. These web-formatted archives are preserved complete with typographical errors and available for reference and educational and activist use. Scanned PDFs of the back issues can be browsed by headline at the website for the 2014 SftP conference held at UMass-Amherst. For more information or to support the project, email sftp.publishing@gmail.com

Explicit Operational Program (272)

by Herb Fox

‘Science for the People’ Vol. 3, No. 2, May 1971, p. 8

Betty Zisk of Boston University1 points out that having mastered an appropriate list of “buzz words” an apprentice author could achieve acclaim by his peers (and the public). This is useful information in these days of unemployment. DOD contractor employees (and others) might wish to change their field. Being experts in projecting buzz words due to years of writing successful government proposals and reports, they should only need a new set of such words to change fields. If political science interests you (i.e., there are grants available), the following excerpt from Betty’s article should help.

Magic Words for Political Scientists

Rules: Choose any 3-digit number. (A table of random numbers may be utilized if needed.) Find the corresponding acceptable professional phrase by locating the relevant number in each column. You now need only a few verbs, gerundives, and disclaimers, and your article is complete. Example: 123 = latent empirical parameters.

Column 1

  1. valid
  2. latent
  3. explicit
  4. proximate
  5. parasymmetric
  6. comparative
  7. quasi-
  8. value-neutral
  9. hypothesized
  10. tentative

Column 2

  1. systematic
  2. isomorphic
  3. empirical
  4. analytical
  5. theoretically significant
  6. dynamic
  7. longitudinal
  8. operational
  9. policy-oriented
  10. functional

Column 3

  1. role(s)
  2. paradigm(s)
  3. program(ming)
  4. parameter(s)
  5. typology(ies)
  6. conceptualization
  7. assumption(s)
  8. orientation(s)
  9. variable
  10. inter-relationship

Note: Scholars in potential riot areas may wish to substitute the following for one of the above:

9-a relevant        9-a black   9-a confrontational

The hypothesized dynamic orientation (857) of this tentative systematic typology (904) is obvious. Our purpose is to help the fledgling author to play a valid functional role (090) which takes into account all latent isomorphic variables (118). In addition. one explicit operational assumption (276) is the lack of a contradiction between this value-neutral empirical program (722) and a quasi-policy-oriented conceptualization (685).

>>  Back to Vol. 3, No. 2  <<


  1. Betty H. Zisk, Western Political Quarterly, December 1968, pg. 55 – 56.