But here are three that we wish would go away (and suggested replacements)
Say what you want about PR and marketing people, but we tend to have a decent sense of humor – especially when it comes to our own profession. The latest example that I uncovered was this video by Hunter PR that was picked up by PR Daily called “Stuff PR People Say”, one of the many spin-offs from its viral (whoops there’s a buzzword) cousin, [Stuff] Girls Say.
I’ve always been fascinated by buzzwords. On one hand, you use them when you can’t fully articulate a descriptor, or you want to commoditize a business concept in a way that everyone can understand. That annoys some people, because it implies a lack of articulation and creativity by people that are paid to be articulate and creative. But on the other hand, few pieces of communication are defined by one word or phrase. It’s the larger message that matters – and we all have lots of work to do – so let’s throw in some clichés for the greater good of getting business done and leave the eloquent prose for a novel or memoir.
Whatever side you’re on, some buzzwords are more annoying than others. So here’s a compilation of a few of the most frequent offenders, including a few suggested replacements this year.
Best-of-Breed. I didn’t realize that we were promoting purebred animals.
2012 Replacement: Blue Ivy. You have the best rapper and the best dancer/singer/looking person. They bred and this was the name they chose. If this term works for them, it works for me.
COB. I never really understood why we abbreviate the end of the day. I get that business closing can imply different things across time zones, but with everyone checking email on their smartphone, when does business actually close? SMH.
2012 Replacement: Tebow Time. With last week as the exception, Tebow only comes alive at the end of the game. So perhaps we can use this term as inspiration to come alive and create a quality product by the end of the day.
Outside the box. Whatever was originally “inside” this proverbial box of ideas and concepts, this phrase is squarely inside that box at this point… wrapped in bubble wrap, with packing peanuts all around it for safety.
2012 Replacement: Sheen. If you really want a term that describes going off the grid, why not go straight to the top. This one’s a little dated, but until he’s dethroned, then let’s come up with some “bitchin” Sheen ideas. Everyone said Winning and Tigerblood anyway; no one used Sheen as an adjective.
These are my three favorites, but I’m sure you have yours too. Either way, if you use buzzwords a lot, own it. We’re cool. Just know that you might find your vocabulary on next year’s list!