Service of Buzzwords

September 20th, 2010

Categories: Buzzwords, Insecurity, Language, Manner of Speech, Pet Peeves, Speaking, Words

buzzwordsMatt Mecs shared some of the buzzwords that drive him crazy these days. He is an excellent writer, uses words precisely and creatively, his copy is never tired, in fact, he invents words and turns of phrases that create buzz. Matt is director of sales at Local Focus Radio and media studies adjunct professor at Metropolitan College of New York where, along with his strenuous job, he teaches four courses this semester.

Here’s Matt’s list of irritating buzzwords:

Hard Stop: When a person has to take that call at 4 pm s/he might say: “I’ve got a hard stop coming up.”

Bandwidth (synonym for attention span): “I don’t have the bandwidth to talk with you right now, maybe next week?”

Verticals (synonym for categories)

Transparency

 

Organic

 

lowhangingfruit1Low hanging fruit

With that said

Do you eat your own dog food? Aka Do you drink your own champagne? {use your own products} Matt noted about the newer, champagne version: “Perhaps people are whistling past the recession graveyard with the talk of grander things.”

And mine [along with low hanging fruit]:

Drilling down

next-levelNext Level: “This initiative will take our marketing efforts to the next level.”

Unique {when it’s not}

Needless to say {then don’t}

24/7

Paradigm shift

Low fat

Like every few words {especially if the speaker is over 13}

Matt and I are also allergic to trite, greeting card expressions, especially when said with a straight face, but these overlap this topic. I should cover them in another post.

hipBuzzwords and trite expressions exist for the same reason: They make people feel good as well as cool, hip, connected, with-it and they are easy to use and remember.

Please tell us if any of these buzzwords annoy you and share any that we haven’t listed that have worn thin or never worked in your opinion.

buzzing-bee

6 Responses to “Service of Buzzwords”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Buzzwords are like art. Some annoy, others please. Never heard the “bandwidth” one before, but like it. I see others, such as “awesome” or “major” not to speak of “like” as irritants. Best way to kill them is avoidance. Trouble is, that with their increasing numbers, not to speak of loyal fans, assassins will be hard to find.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Good point, Lucrezia,

    Don’t feed the words that grate and soon, they will die. My bet is that if you heard too much of “bandwidth” it would join the “awesome” and “major” that I would have put on my list if I’d thought of them.

  3. ASK Said:

    Well, you know, I mean, that’s a pretty unique list. Uh, just what is a “paradigm shift?” Does that mean you’ve changed your mind?

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    According to Answers.com, [you know, I mean] a paradigm shift is “A dramatic change in methodology or practice. It often refers to a major change in thinking and planning…..” An example I recall hearing the first time a speaker covered paradigms was the tale of two cars passing one another on a country road. The man yelled out his window to the woman going in the other direction, “Pig!” And she yelled back “Creep,” turned the corner and crashed into a pig in the middle of the road.

  5. Hester Craddock Said:

    I have trouble enough understanding and being understood in this country because I speak the English I learned as a child. Adding buzzwords to the linguistic jumble just makes matters worse.

    If you go back and reread your Gibbon, you will find that one of the things that brought down the Roman Empire was the growth of regional idiosyncrasies in basic Latin, the lingua-franca of the time. Of course, that is how we came to speak French, Spanish, Italian, English and so forth, but mutilating Latin did diminish people’s ability to communicate.

    Language is a living thing and not etched in concrete. It will inevitably change, but in the interest of preserving Western civilization, maybe we should slow the rate of change a bit.

    Another problem with buzzwords is that they, like fraternity passwords, are exclusionary.
    If you know the words you are part of the “in group,” and if you don’t, you’re out of it.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hester,

    If we all spoke Latin, we would be able to understand one another better but as I almost failed the subject, I’d be in bad shape!

    Making people feel as though they belong to the “in group” is one of the reasons people use buzzwords. Not saying it’s good, but certain buzzies have a clubbiness to them. In this regard, they relate to jargon, yet another of my pet peeves.

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