Survey Finds the 13 Most Dreadful Buzzwords of 2006!

Dec. 6, 2006 – Contact: John Walston, cell: 610-742-1176, or Ed Avis, 708-488-8820, edavis@marionstreetpress.com

BUZZWORDS: The 13 Most Dreadful Buzzwords of 2006!

“While we’re leveraging our assets, can you synopsize the mission-critical meeting, then relanguage it by the targeted completion date?”

Those five buzzwords are among the 13 Most Dreadful Buzzwords of 2006 as selected by the readers of BuzzWhack.com, home of The Buzzword Dictionary: 1,000 Phrases Translated From Pompous to English, (Marion Street Press $12.95).

“Some business people simply believe that if they sound important, then everyone will think they are important, and therefore smarter,” says John Walston, author of The Buzzword Dictionary and creator of BuzzWhack.com. “Among the guilty: vice president wannabes, consultants, techies, and lawyers.

“But they’re fooling no one but themselves.

“The rest of us know that you can communicate almost any idea clearly with plain, straightforward English,” Walston says.

Here’s the complete list:

1. leveraging our assets: The ultimate DUH in business. Every company attempts to leverage its assets. It only makes sense that companies put their resources, whether it’s money, location or talent, to best use in order to make a profit?
2. mission-critical: Another sign that too many people in today’s business world have read too many Tom Clancy books. What’s wrong with the word “essential”?
3. conversate: To have a conversation. Created by those who (for some bizarre reason) don’t think “converse” or “talk” are adequate.

4. information touchpoint: Any contact in which information is shared or transferred. Yes, meetings are information touchpoints.

5. synopsize: To condense the details of a boring, two-hour meeting into a briefer – yet still as boring – version.

6. electronify: The process of turning paper-based data into electronic or digital form.

7. price-optimized: Something sold as cheap as possible, particularly a stripped-down version of a previously successful, but expensive product. However, the price-optimized version is likely to have more flash and less substance.

8. targeted completion date: A comforting term that gives the impression a project will be finished by a certain date (but everyone involved knows there’s no chance in hell of it happening).

9. surgerize: To have surgery. “Her face had been surgerized.”
10. relanguage: Term used by $300-an-hour consultants when $1 words, such as reword, rephrase or rewrite, would work just as well. “I think we can relanguage that to be more effective.”
11. computerate: Computer literate. To understand how a computer works. “Are you computerate? Or do you need me to do it for you?”

12. critical path: A list of tasks necessary to complete a project. In project management, it’s the ultimate alibi. If there’s even one delay in the “critical path,” the project will not be completed on time.

13. Professional Learning Community: A school faculty.

About the author: John Walston’s journalism career includes stints as deputy managing editor of USA Today, editorial director of United Press International, and executive editor of The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. He operates the website http://www.buzzwhack.com You can reach John on his cell phone at 610-742-1176.

About the book: The Buzzword Dictionary: 1,000 Phrases Translated From Pompous to English (ISBN 1933338075, $12.95, 220 pages, paperback), was published September 2006 by Marion Street Press, Inc. The book was named a “Nifty Giftie” by William Safire in his column in the December 3, 2006 New York Times magazine. The Buzzword Dictionary is available through all major booksellers. Cover image and review copies are available by contacting Ed Avis, 708-488-8820, edavis@marionstreetpress.com.

About the publisher: Marion Street Press, Inc. is an independent publisher in Forest Park, Illinois that specializes in books for word lovers, writers, and journalists. The company’s list is available at http://www.marionstreetpress.com

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