Archive for the ‘Acronyms’ Category

Service of When Simple Things Confuse

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

I wonder if I live on a different planet sometimes. To illustrate what I mean, I’ve photographed a few signs and a sales pitch that I’ve recently noticed or received. I cover communications—mostly poor–in many of my posts.

On a bus at night this week I looked up from what I was reading to see where I was. I admired the new lit street sign [photo above], but from where I sat, I could only see the Avenue—the street number, which is what I needed to know, was hidden. Did the designer think of that?

I know why real estate people do it, because the avenue may have more cachet as an address to the building owner, but it has always confounded me when a door that opens many paces up a NYC street has an address referencing an Avenue. I’m surprised that it’s allowed. The photo, right, shows 350 Lexington Ave. quite a bit up on 40th Street facing west.

I got a letter from Stig Abell, whom I don’t know, asking me to subscribe to the TLS with not a hint of what it was anywhere. I bet every reader of this blog knows what TLS is but on arrival home late one night, I didn’t. Because I was planning to write this column, instead of tossing the letter immediately, I looked it up: The Times Literary Supplement. I guess it was one of those “If you have to ask, you’re not worthy of it,” sales pitches.

I didn’t snap a shot of a poster that was at bus stops all over town a few months ago—and I couldn’t find an image of it on the Internet either so you’ll have to believe me. It told the reader to fly out of EWR because of convenience etc. I’ve lived in NYC most of my life and had no idea where EWR was so the poster was wasted on me—I’ve never been good at acronyms anyway. I later learned in a Facebook conversation that it refers to Newark Airport as well as why the airport uses the letters EWR. Because the letter N is reserved for all things Navy, it cannot be used to identify airports.  EWR refers to some of the other letters in the word nEWaRk.

Have you been left in the dark due to confusing signs or mysterious sales pitches?

Photo: airportparkingguides.com

Service of Words that Irritate

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Photo: girardatlarge.com

Photo: girardatlarge.com

I’ve written before about jargon that has driven me nuts since I first heard it. Judy Schuster wrote recently: “I’d love to see a post about the awful words that are being coined by people in business and in the media.”

I expanded the topic to also cover words and/or acronyms—even a phrase– that irritate.

Photo: abovethelaw.com

Photo: abovethelaw.com

Schuster shared some words that inspired this post:

  • Repurpose (she once threatened to wash a colleague’s mouth out with soap if he used it again)
  • Right sizing (otherwise known as layoffs)
  • Incentivize
  • Efforting  

Daniel McHenry, an actor, asked: “Why do people make up words? What’s the point of having a language?” He shared these examples:

  • Brexit
  • Gynormous

Two young information technology experts—Josh Citrón and Brandt Ziegler–objected to the IT buzzword

  • Quiesce—to momentarily/temporarily stop or pause or disable.

They added:

  • Leverage our synergy to maximize our outcomes
  • Core competencies
  • Market volatility
  • ROI

    Photo: simparel.com

    Photo: simparel.com

While on the subject of words, Citrón and Ziegler couldn’t stop.

  • One dislikes it when people say “On accident,” instead of “By accident” and he shivers when he hears the word “moist.”
  • Citrón objects to all the ____gate words such as travelgate or deflategate [to describe under-inflated Patriots footballs].

If you listen to enough political talk on cable, you hear words the pundits pick up and repeat, like a tossed basketball, from evening to evening, such as “writ large” [MSNBC had an outbreak of this one a few weeks ago]. Eventually writ large made my teeth grind. Did you hear dystopia make the rounds? The word means “an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one,”—Google. [See the photo below.] I heard President Obama use it at least once in a press conference or speech after the Democratic convention.

Doesn’t it feel great to get annoying words or expressions off your chest? Do you have any to add? Do some of the ones listed also irritate you?

Photo: leeswames.wordpress.com

Photo: leeswames.wordpress.com

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