- Now is your chance to vote on the most irritating "new economy" buzzspeak that ought to be sent permanently packing to the "burst bubble hall of fame."
- Pull down the shade, "which means to get to the point and not tell a long story. This has to go."
- Dashboards, as in "where are we going, how fast, and what am I doing in this handbasket." Also officing, as in "I office, you office, he-she-it offices. Wouldn't it be nice to see these words returned to the automobile and the proper part of speech?"
- Work smarter, a "phrase that usually means that management has denied my salary increase but increased my workload."
- Benchmarking, "known in the old days as keeping up with the competition, this expression has all the wit of the kid who got busted in grade school for putting graffiti on the benches. In fact, maybe he's the one who foisted the phrase on us in the first place."
- Identity branding. "Madison Avenue was throwing slogans and logos at us for many decades before some genius came up with this one. Somebody pull the branding iron out of the fire and let's go put a mark on the genius."
- Stakeholders. "I can see the efficiency of consolidating all the terms for customers, vendors, affiliates etc. It's just that every time I hear this buzzword I picture the waiter clutching my Tri-Tip in his hands before finally putting it on the plate."
- Connect the dots and low-hanging fruit. "When used by new management it invariably means 'they brought me in and paid me alot of money to try something new. It didn't work out and we lost millions of dollars so now we are going back to our roots to connect the dots and focus on the low-hanging fruit.'
- Translation: The management that went before was actually pretty darn good. Too bad we sacked their pension fund."
- Noted, as in, " 'Did you get the results from your group's evaluation?' Answer: 'Noted.' What does 'noted' mean? Is the answer yes or no? Does this person not want to be held accountable?"
- Reorganize, " 'Please vote this proxy to reorganize your mutual fund,' as in 'we are combining all our blown-up funds into one so if you ever want to see your money again please put a 'yes' in the red box.' "
- Re-stated earnings are in line with expectations,"as in these numbers are
- lower than before but at least they are real."
- Heads-up. "After all, it seems we've had our collective heads up our
- collective >>>> oops, long enough."
- Thinking outside the box, living our mission statement, paradigm shift. "These need to go. Right now. Go, and don't look back."
- Digitalwise. "Eliminate or drastically reduce the use of adding 'wise' to other words."
- Downsizing, rightsizing, smartsizing. "Layoffs of the small folks so the big folks can keep their jobs even though they are the ones who could not anticipate a financial crisis." (We received numerous submissions for these buzzwords, including the note that "right-sizing should be down-sized.")
- Upskill, as in, " 'If you do not upskill yourself, you will be unemployable/underemployable, we may be forced to downsize/smartsize our organization, in this current economic climate.' Yeah, a 'diplomatic' way of saying we don't want to pay you any more, however we still need the benefit of your intellectual capital so you are welcome to work here while we pick your brain!!"
- Proactive. "What that means is, we're going to second-guess the problem the customer will have next, 'fix it,' and not have to be 'reactive' (another word to eliminate!). However, we'll guess wrong, and then have to do ANOTHER 'fix' to change the real problem. Managers don't care, but the worker-bees working lots of hours (on
- salary, not overtime!) making all these changes don't particularly like it!"
- Charged, "as in 'I've been charged with leading this project.' Isn't 'I'm leading this project' simple enough?"
- Partnering surely needs to go.
- Ibid for value-added.
- Push back, a term "invariably uttered by your boss when another department head doesn't agree with the proposal you're carrying. 'You should go push back on him.' No. He already said no, do your own pushing."
- Critically important. "Something can be critical, and it can be important, but when it becomes critically important it seems to diffuse any importance or criticalness the thing might have actually had. In other words, my B.S. radar is up!"
- The fundamentals have changed. " 'The
- fundamentals have changed, so please buy my stock, but don't expect my
- company to actually earn money like those stodgy Fortune 500 companies
- of old.' Fundamentals don't change. That's why they call them fundamentals!"
- We'll go from there. "I have found that people who use that phrase are either hiding from whatever 'there' refers to, or are too short-sighted and lazy to see where 'there' really is. Drives me crazy and makes me suspicious. 'There' is usually good for CEOs, bad for everyone else, especially workers."
- Impact, "as in 'increased activity in the Asian markets impacts our bottom line.' Not only is it clunky prose, it is incorrect! Worse: 'has impacted,' which any
- dentist will tell you means your wisdom teeth need to be extracted."
- At the end of the day, as in, "At the end of the day we'll fire 17,000 people and file Chapter 11."
- Disconnect, as in, "Oops, we put 4 billion in the wrong column. Darn. Must've been a disconnect."
- Synergy/synergistic, as in the most overused word in technology-company marketing materials. Evah.
- Grow, as in, "Let's grow the biz, make a gazillion dollars off shareholders, then sell it all before anyone knows we're under SEC investigation."
At the end of the day
Thinking outside the box
Take it offline
On the runway
Get on the same page
On the same page