It astounds me how many people use buzzwords these days. I can understand (to a point) the necessity of industry-specific jargon, but what on earth does it mean when someone says “I’ll cold towel those documents and get them to you later,” or “he’s just had a brain dump,” A ‘brain dump’? You have to be kidding. Just what sort of person thinks the usage of this term is anything less than crass? I have an image of a smelly item squeezing out of a cranium, no? Perhaps I’m simply not hip enough to get it.
My boss talks about ‘blue sky thinking’, then laughs. Neither of us knows exactly what it means, but presume it’s something to do with positivity. Thankfully, Boss shares my frustration with the cool language that floats around in meetings and was amazed when I told him about Boardroom Bingo, the game where a different buzzword fills each square of a bingo board and you mark them off as you hear them spoken in meetings.
We now collect buzzwords in the office and a group of us use them as often as possible because it makes us giggle. A typical exchange might be:
A: “I’m off to a meeting now,”
B: “Well then, let’s get your rocks of that runway and clear it for take-off. I sure hope those 404s don’t car park your new strategy.”
A: “Yeah, we’re ready for any potential blamestorming from those idea hamsters. Perhaps we can get a chainsaw consultant to uninstall them before they cause us any more salmon days.”
How about this?
“I’m having a non-proximity distance issue with a vital file for that meeting.” (In spite of its total pomposity, I can’t wait to use that one.)
This is pretty bad, too:
“How about putting a couple of slices of bread in your intellectual toaster to see what pops out?”
In structure it reminds me of:
“Let’s put some milk in the cappuccino machine and see it comes out frothy.”
Funnily enough, some buzzwords that were new to us 8 years ago, are in common usage now:
“They’ll work on it 24-7,”
“He’s been left out of the loop”
“It’s a complete no-brainer,” and
“We’re being proactive, not reactive,” If we’re honest, we all use them, and they’ve probably made it into the O.E.D.
So what are the latest buzzwords buzzing around right now? See The Buzzword Dictionary at http://www.buzzwhack.com, a website ‘dedicated to demystifying buzzwords’. It would seem that I’m already a ‘buzzwhacker’, ‘cos I whack the hell outta them there buzzwords. So proud… But I still don’t know how to ‘cold-towel’ a document. Damn.