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Bothersome Buzzwords

by David Friedland

The other day, two different companies selling me services asked if their offering were in my wheelhouse. Since I didn’t know I had a wheelhouse, I couldn’t answer them.

I had to look it up because in my 25 years at IRI, wheelhouse was a still new expression for me.  I found it’s not a new buzzword, but in fact an old term with disputed origins. Yet I’m still bothered, because:

1) Asking me in plain English for my opinion is easier
2) I’m generally persuaded by merits, not jargon – commonplace or technical
3) Buzzword use for some weird reason seems contagious – once I heard wheelhouse, other buzzwords suddenly starting popping up in the conversation.

The more I thought about this, the more I began to ‘recoil in horror’ over all the other corporate gobbledygook and dopey euphemisms even I overuse as I ‘leverage’ my ‘bandwidth’ and ‘skill set’ to do the ‘heavy lifting’ involved in ‘growing a business’.

I’m sure everyone reading this has their own list of favorites, but the ones that bug me the most are:

  • bleeding edge – just don’t hemorrhage money
  • smartsize – when rightsize isn’t enough
  • take it offline – who knew it was online
  • touch base – so long it doesn’t require facetime
  • globalize – because bigger’s not always better
  • deep dive – especially when it hits the sweet spot

There are so many buzzwords, and some still seem to make sense despite their overuse. ‘Mindshare’ comes to mind.

Waxing specifically, we used ‘big data’ in CoSort ads 10 years ago, but ‘the fact of the matter’ is that a ‘paradigm shift’ made a ‘business case’ to ‘productize’ it with ‘Hadoop’ and ‘champion’ it as ‘best of breed’ through ‘channels’ so it ‘resonates’ with the ‘low hanging fruit’ lest we ‘experience slippage’ towards a ‘downward trend’ of ‘doing more with less’ and ‘dropping back to punt’ into ‘dog and pony shows’ that ‘fast track’ us into ‘gap analysis’ and ’emotional leakage.’

Fortunately, ‘back-end’ ‘multi-tasking’ ‘frameworks’ are ‘backward-compatible’ with our ‘core competency’ so I ‘conceptualize’ ‘smooth sailing’ ‘going forward’ as we ‘get on the bus’ and ‘actualize’ our ‘game plan’. And once we’re ‘singing from the same hymnal’ but not ‘preaching to the choir,’ we can ‘solution’ a ‘sustainable’ ‘strategic fit’ for our ‘stakeholders’ to ‘achieve’ a ‘seamless’ ‘synergy’ of ‘enterprise-wise’ ‘sea change’ so we can ‘monetize’ our ‘sustainable competitive advantage.’

I hope I haven’t ‘stretched the envelope’ too far. I need a ‘bio break.’ 

P.S. ‘Kudos’ to http://www.thompsonwriting.com/#!business-buzzwords/c1qnb for the ‘refresh.’

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