I'm writing a sentence that currently reads: The question "What do you do" can be a proxy for a person's value.

I'm sure that proxy doesn't fit but I'm trying to find a way to say that a person's position is wrongfully used as a way to confer value.

  • 1
    Proxy may work, or you could use any synonym for euphemism. But I don't think this sentence will work, even with a different word there. The question ("what do you do") doesn't stand in for the value, it's used to assess the value. You could restructure like this: "The question 'what do you do' can be a polite way of asking 'how much value should I assign to you?'" Or, ditching the "question" language: "We ask a person what they do so that we can assess the person's value."
    – Juhasz
    Apr 20 '20 at 17:59
  • This question is somewhat relevant: english.stackexchange.com/questions/530410/…
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25 '20 at 18:32
  • And this: english.stackexchange.com/questions/185085/…
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25 '20 at 18:32

The question "what do you do" can implicitly be construed as a superficial measure to judge a person's value.

  • Perhaps a person’s answer to the question can be used that way...
    – Jim
    Apr 26 '20 at 7:08

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