Is there an adjective or a noun for something hindering understanding or further development by providing an easy workaround or a parametrisation (i.e. practical in a zeroth order but unable to provide a consistent description). I want to apply it to the alpha-viscosity theory.

The things like "swindle, fraud, cheat or trick" do not capture the fact that the simplicity of it made it so appealing as to discard a search for other options. An expression like "paved track" does not have a negative shading. Does "a pill" or "a panacea" express that?

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    You might call it a misleading simplification.
    – Lawrence
    Feb 27, 2016 at 15:19
  • 1
    How about "the obvious choice/decision"? obvious meaning the conclusion easily reached without exploring for better options.
    – user3169
    Feb 27, 2016 at 17:39
  • @ user3169 obvious choice is good. Actually, a combination "an obvious but misleading choice" or the "misleading simplification" captures what I wanted. Thanks.
    – magnetar
    Feb 27, 2016 at 20:14
  • 2
    I like Lawrence's misleading. Another word came to my mind was simplistic. Feb 27, 2016 at 22:31

2 Answers 2


I'd suggest you've already answered your own question with "workaround".

Where I work, it's a constant source of frustration for our software development team. Our production workers won't report bugs they find in our software, they simply find a workaround so they can get their job done, even if the record keeping is completely broken and we throw up giant error messages telling them so. For our production tracking software we had to completely change the software flow to prevent them employing the various workarounds so that build statistics and database entries were properly kept so inventory could be tracked and parts purchased on time, etc., and if something does go wrong, they can no longer print out the product label that's required for the part to move to the next station. It's an ongoing battle.


Perhaps an Americanism, a very dismissive term that derives from a breakfast cereal for infants:

pablumAmerican Heritage Dictionary

  1. Intellectual material that is bland, trite, or insipid:
    "It was the sort of pablum routinely pronounced by State Department spokesmen when they had no real policy to describe."

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