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What buzzword would you eliminate from the English language?

There are just some words that you hear over and over that don't mean anything and just drive you crazy. If you had the power, what word or words would you eliminate from the English language?

There are just some words that you hear over and over that don't mean anything and just drive you crazy. If you had the power, what word or words would you eliminate from the English language?

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From time to time in Decision Central, I like to discuss some of the common buzzwords that we encounter as IT professionals. It's fun to try to dig into them and see exactly what's meant by them.

Words are supposed to mean things, but buzzwords can often just hide the true meaning of what's intended. Occasionally there's a good idea or concept behind the term, and there's no better alternative. However, so often marketers try to use and twist the words into things that just make it easier for them to sell stuff.

What buzzword would you get rid of?

We do have this thing called the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech (most of the time). So that means that we don't have the power to get rid of annoying words and phrases, but it's always nice to dream.

If you had the power to eliminate a buzzword, what would it be? And what would you put in its place? Take the poll below and choose the word you'd get rid of:

Unfortunately, the poll allows you to make only one choice. And the words I've chosen are pretty limited. I didn't want to make the list too long. If you have any words to add to the list, select Other and put them in the Comment section.

Maybe I'll even choose some of your options and see if we can't decipher them as well.

74 comments
stephaniev
stephaniev

More like a phrase instead of just a buzzword. very over used.

DesD
DesD

best practice, at this point in time... would be to shoot people who talk like this, going forward.

DesD
DesD

best practice, at this point in time...

thezar
thezar

Decision Central Overblown use of words!

bogburn48
bogburn48

Not a technical phrase, per se ... BUT, "You know what I mean?" interspersed every other sentence drives me NUTS! You know what I mean?

dklein
dklein

basically drives me nuts then they ramble on in technobabble

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

with Web 2.0 a close second. My ultimate peeve? "Enhanced Web 2.0" X-(

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As in, "We have an opportunity to..." when a user has a problem that must be solved. Opportunities can be declined; problems MUST be solved. Don't sugar-coat the situation.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I hate that...I also REALLY hate the word SaaS (it's pronounced sass). Blech...

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

A word that has come to really annoy me is 'embedded'. Specifically, when reporters are 'embedded' with military units. I suppose my annoyance is derived dually from the overuse of the term, as well as the feeling I have that you're hindering units by placing journalists with them.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I am getting sick of hearing "Show stopper". People use it all too often to get out doing work. As in, "My email is down. This is a show stopper. I can't get anything done. I am paralyzed." Oh well, I might as well go back to playing solitaire.

RFink
RFink

This word is way over used in the corporate world. A server going down is not an emergency. Will someone die if it stays down, maybe in a hospital, but other than that all it means is someone's losing money.

jp4par
jp4par

I can't stand 'mission critical' and 'business critical'. They're used so much, nothing is critical... Management even had to come up with 'code blue' because no one was taking anything serious anymore that was 'critical'. It won't be long before 'code blue' will just mean the beer is cold...

jck
jck

Someone in the technical field calling themselves an "evangelist" for giving speeches. That would be like Barack Obama calling himself a "candidate for chief public and government engineer" You are a speaker...lecturer...fan...whatever...if you go give talks...not an evangelist. Evangelists generally wear funny looking suits and talk about God... lol

kraterz
kraterz

Start with Synergy, paradigm, empowerment, organic, win-win, catalyst, bandwidth, and a ton more nonsense in today's management world.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

What about "NO BRAINER". I'm so tired of hearing that. It is usually used by someone who really doesn't understand an assignment that they are giving to someone else. If it's that simple they should do it themselves and get it over with.

MGP2
MGP2

Well, it probably wasn't meant to be a buzzword, but now it seems like everyone is an engineer. For example, on monster.com, I used the keyword "engineer", and here's just a sample from the first three pages of results. Each line represents one job advertisement. Anyone know what a "sales engineer" is or does? Lead Software Engineer / Graphic Design Tools Engineer Senior Network Engineer Senior Database Engineer / Principal DB Engineer, Oracle 10g Senior Test Equipment Design Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer I Field Escalation Engineer - Senior Solutions Engineer Quality Engineer/Performance Engineer Telephony Engineer Altiris Engineer Technical Support Engineer II Desktop Engineer Release Engineer/Release Coordinator Senior Sales Engineer Oracle Technical Implementation Engineer Senior QA Engineer WEB SERVER ENGINEER II Development Training Engineer - Process and Quality C# GUI Engineer (Acton)

techrepublicsucks
techrepublicsucks

The terrible grammar in the title pulled me in for some strange reason. Then the continuing irony of the blog and comments had me rolling on the floor laughing. For example, why didn't the author put "Decision Central" on the list? Nobody is deciding anything for anyone so it is just there to mislead the reader. Face the facts and call it "Opinion Central". Then I read the comment where someone thinks "Intalectural Property" should be removed from the English language. That has got to put a smile on your face. What an ID10T. These to authors clearly don't understand proper grammar or how to spell words correctly and they are making recommendations on changing the language?!?! The irony is killing me! Please keep "synergizing", this is stuff is "solid gold". RAOTFLMAO!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

'Architect' leaps to mind. "We're going to architect a solution."

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Or as an ex-cow-orker would say: Para dig em

ThreeLittleBirds
ThreeLittleBirds

I have some of favorites buzz words I love to hate: 1. There is a director in my organization that is constantly referring to "it is time to put on my white hat" or "time to put on my blue hat" or whatever color of the six hats he chooses. 2. "Absolutely!!!" I despise this word. Grossly overused. 3. "Take ownership" - Lets get real here, people are essentially paid to do what someone else tells them to do. 4. "so what I hear you saying is..." - NO! I said exactly what I meant to say. 5. "Process Improvement Management" - A rehashed and recycled term from the 80s and 90s. In my organization I call it PIMP (Process Improvement Management Plan!!) instead of PIM. 6. Customer Focus - Needs no explanation.

Kathy
Kathy

We have one who does exactly that and have created a flexible adjective for the condition. When you are subjected to this, we say you have been (use a piece of his/her surname then add the suffix "anized", e.g. "Smith-anized") It helps to offset your slide into the glazed-over state. I once counted the use of this word 72 times in a 2.5 hour time period by one person.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Nothing like being in a meeting with the IT department heads to discuss our department's functional needs or why the systems are not meeting them; "well, this system doesn't work for us because we need to match these two data sets with no common identifier. Those two systems there don't ever return the same values for the same request run on each. This system is broken because we can't get X, Y and Z information from it." I was told that these where "opportunities". Great, but opportunities don't change the fact that those issues are still getting in the way of accomplishing work now over a year and a half later. I mean the computer systems, not the people who inherited management of them when I say that the systems are broken and not meeting our needs. Suger coat is right; It's still year old beaf stew regardless of how much sugar you pure on top.

CaptBilly1Eye
CaptBilly1Eye

"No. But I [b]DO[/b] have a [b]problem![/b]" -issues can be settled or compromised. Problems need to be solved! What's the big deal about calling something what it is. Like puttin' lipstick on a pig. Oooops... did I just say that? ;-)

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

When I hear the word 'embedded' I think of a splinter stuck deep in a finger being very annoying and causing pain. In that sense, using the term "Embedded journalist" or even "Windows XP Embedded" is entirely appropriate.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

The Shocker ;-) What really is irritating is that EVERYTHING is a show stopper now. Your laptop a little slow, it's a show stopper. Your projector a little dim, a show stopper. Find a minor bug in some software, it's a show stopper. Your lunch is a little boring, yup that's a show stopper... ARRGGG

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Nothing denotes the commencement of a B.S. speech/edict/meeting/etc. more than the use of the term synergy within the first few minutes. "We've pulled you all together today to see how we can shift our paradigm, and maximize our natural synergies to produce some value-added change". BLECH!!! X-( How does that proverb go...if you remain quiet, people may take you for a fool, but if you open your mouth, you'll remove all doubt. Western business 'leaders' sure do like to eliminate any doubt from the get go! :)

bighair1204
bighair1204

No wonder that it is hard to me to understand those translated diction of management, it seems that foreigners also think they are nonsense. :) How pity we are! Still holding them!

dogknees
dogknees

An Engineer is a person with a degree in Engineering who designs things. Someone who repairs things is not an Engineer, but a technician.

Gate keeper
Gate keeper

In Canada it is Illegal to use the title of engineer unless you are a professional engineer licensed with your provincial body. you are issued a stamp, by which your legally held accountable for any designs you put your stamp on. so it still carries some wait thank god ! Gate keeper, P.eng ;)

seanferd
seanferd

Decision Central isn't a buzzword, it is a blog department. It isn't about the Central Scrutinizer telling you what to do, it's about providing information to those who are in positions to make business decisions. Misleading how? How does the spelling of a commenter have any bearing on whether or not buzzwords are so annoying and meaningless that one might just wish they'd fall into disuse? The person committing the misspelling is obviously of higher intelligence than yourself, so again, I see no direct relationship between the quality of the spelling and the quality of the idea. Some people can't spell and/or type, so get over it. Save it for complete trolls who also have spelling problems, it'll get more mileage. illegal punctuation line 13

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]These to [/i](!!)[i] authors clearly don't understand proper grammar or how to spell words correctly and they are making recommendations on changing the language?!?! The irony is killing me![/i] I should hope! Edit: formatting

santeewelding
santeewelding

I supplied the missing "you" in the title the first time around. The second time I visited, I saw that it was missing. Then I saw your post. The authority missing in yours is too obvious for comment.

santeewelding
santeewelding

It's not only management. And it's not only diction.

MGP2
MGP2

who's ROTFLMAO now? Great catch, Nick! ;-)

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

Mea culpa... mea culpa... Yeah, I clearly missed the You in the title. I mentally inserted the You when I created it and even though I reread it a coupla times before clicking Publish. Toni Bowers emailed me about it later. Bad Author! Bad Author! No cookie for you!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've been wrong before. The example may be wrong, but the principle still applies.

albert
albert

The blog entry was about our peeves with buzzwords such as "Web 2.0", "Rich Content", "eANYTHING", or "iWHATEVERS" and not necessarily cliches, platitudes or generally over-used words and phrases in the English language. "However," I totally agree with you. Nothing can disrupt the smooth flow of a conversation or discussion more than that awful phrase. I blame the talking heads on cable news networks for this one. I don't know which bone-head was first to declare war on the word "However" and replace it with this insidious phrase. But, so many have followed not knowing how ridiculous they appear to us and how much that phrase grates on our ears.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I have a brilliant rocket scientist friend with a mind for details yet that one comes out at least once a conversation of not more. The term in general blows my mind. It basically means "I want to give you my opinion, now I'm going to admit is not relevant at all and go with your opinion."

bighair1204
bighair1204

I thought Kraterz said management. And the reason I say this because we learn these words most often from management.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

hey, let's all start our posts with missing 'you' today.

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