This week, a Toronto newspaper ran a story with a headline containing a buzzword that is one of my most detested — “win-win” — so it’s obvious the battle against meaningless phrases must continue. On our side, we have sites that make fun of buzzwords, like these:
Web Economy Bullshit Generator shows lists of verbs, adjectives and nouns that it will randomly mix for you to come up with gems like “exploit mission-critical metrics” and “utilize scalable web-readiness.”
Bullshit Generator for the Web 2.0 TM (in beta) doesn’t show you the lists, just randomly mixes them up to come up with phrases like “harness long-tail communities” and “aggregate user-contributed feeds.”
BuzzPhraser TM says it builds phrases with “TechnoLatin, a non-language that replaces plain English nouns with vague but precise-sounding substitutes. In TechnoLatin, a disk drive is a ‘data management solution.’ A phone is a ‘telecommunications device.'” You choose how many nouns, adjectives and adverbs to spin together, to come up with phrases like “globally strategic initiative proposition” and “routine platform radish.”
BuzzWhack doesn’t let you generate your own meaningless phrases, but it shows and defines many that are in circulation. It also has some great words, like anticipointment (the feeling you get when a product or event doesn’t live up to its own hype) and hamsterize (to use manual labor in lieu of technology).
What are your most hated buzzwords? What horrible examples have you seen lately? Leave me a comment! In the meantime, I’m taking a break from blogging this week at a ski hill, which I hope will be the kind of place where buzzwords fear to tread.