I am annoyed by buzzwords. Not all of them. And mostly just the way they are used in conversation. Let me explain.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “buzzword” is “a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context.” Some buzzwords become so common that they become part of our every day language, such as “milestone” and “moving forward”. These are words which can be used in a genuine honest sentence. i.e. “My son is starting Grade 1 and he has reached all the milestones expected at this age.” or ” It was really tough when that piano fell out of the sky and destroyed my prize winning rose garden, but I’m moving forward and rebuilding my flower beds.”
All which annoys me about buzzwords can be grouped into the faking them, coining them, and bragging with them.
1. FAKING is when people throw about buzzwords they saw read on Mashable or in latest best selling business book when they have no idea what it means. They misuse the words because they don’t understand the concepts. They pepper their conversation with buzzwords inappropriately. i.e. “I have so much synergy about my vacation next month.”
2. COINING is when people just make stuff up because they think it makes them sound smarter. They casually drop these random phrases because they just want you to think they know all about a latest buzzword you haven’t heard of yet. Of course, you haven’t, because “claritysparkification” isn’t a word of any sort. Or maybe they are coining words in the hope it will catch on, because they fancy themselves to be the next Malcolm Gladwell.
3. BRAGGING is when people cram every possible buzzword into every possible output they make. In conversation, on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In – it all reads like a compilation of the best buzzwords of the past 10 years. Their goal appears to be to elevate the normal ups and downs of their every day life into something worthy of a Tolstoy novel. My “I decided to repaint and reorganize my basement” turns into their “After brainstorming the usage and viability of a vital portion of my living space, my heart told me that a paradigm shift is necessary so I’m taking an organic approach to break through the clutter and reenergize.”
Sigh. How exhausting.