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onesecondglance
01-29-2013, 07:36 PM
Words and phrases I've recently heard used at work without any sense of irony (or shame):

"Learn" as a noun - "one of the big learns from this project".

"Lens" used as a synonym for "layer" (it's already in common use as a synonym for perspective, which is annoying in its own way) - "there are lots of lenses to this project".

"We need to create energy" (not sure they've heard of conservation of energy).

What are your favourite / most sphincter-tighteningly awful examples of work-speak?

jennontheisland
01-29-2013, 07:39 PM
"at the end of the day" except they're never actually referring to the end of a day
"diarize" meaning to put in one's diary as a reminder
"get smart" as in "we need to get smart about ..."
"synergy" cannot be created by one entity
"real time"... as opposed to artificial time? or imaginary time?

EMaree
01-29-2013, 07:43 PM
I have a bitter hatred of acronyms. If someone comes it to do a presentation and goes over four acronyms, I tune out.

Lens instead of layers makes me cringe.

Hm, now let's think of some ones from my own environment... "out of scope" instead of out of support, "triage" and "triage agents" for schedulers/scheduling team.

"Actioned" as in 'I've actioned this request' instead of 'I've done this' is used a lot and very clunky. "Centre of Competence" is also a weird phrase.

mirandashell
01-29-2013, 11:39 PM
Using 'lens' instead of 'layers' makes absolutely no sense. How on earth did that happen?

jjdebenedictis
01-30-2013, 12:50 AM
I have a bitter hatred of acronyms. If someone comes it to do a presentation and goes over four acronyms, I tune out.I recently found a new acronym in one of our manuals that hadn't been defined.

VAWU.

For context, I work in science education. Has anyone got a guess as to what VAWU means? Anyone? :Shrug:

mirandashell
01-30-2013, 12:51 AM
Value Added Work Unit? Meaning an employee who's had extra training?

Caitlin Black
01-30-2013, 03:29 AM
The only VAWU I can come up with is a tad rude...

jjdebenedictis
01-30-2013, 05:08 AM
The only VAWU I can come up with is a tad rude...Yeah, I can think of all kinds of hilarious, quasi-obscene ways to use VAWU in a sentence.

But none of them fit the, ah, rather dry tone of this particular manual.

Caitlin Black
01-30-2013, 07:16 AM
Mmm. Maybe... "Verify. Authenticate. WAZZZZZ UPPP?!?"

EMaree
01-30-2013, 01:55 PM
All I can think is is "Vista Automatic Windows Update" which I think is just my mind trying to tie it into IT.

Not even Googling 'VAWU acronym' helps me. I'm out of ideas! (Though lol, this thread is already result number 3 for that search.)

We had a 'SWAT Team' pop up recently. Took me a while to figure out what that one meant in an IT/incident handling scenario. I kept imagining the guys with assault rifles and riot shields.

Snitchcat
01-30-2013, 08:55 PM
VAWU.

Variable Wavelength (light source / filter) Unit

Roger J Carlson
01-30-2013, 09:06 PM
Around here we've been talking about "swim lanes" and "road maps" for planning purposes. Apparently a road map is made up of multiple swim lanes.

Myrealana
01-30-2013, 09:17 PM
"Consequence" as a verb.

"I'm afraid we're going to have to consequence him for that error."

EMaree
01-30-2013, 11:39 PM
"Consequence" as a verb.

"I'm afraid we're going to have to consequence him for that error."

Wow, that's sinister.

onesecondglance
01-30-2013, 11:48 PM
Around here we've been talking about "swim lanes" and "road maps" for planning purposes. Apparently a road map is made up of multiple swim lanes.

Interesting. Our process maps have swim lanes, but they're not roads.

We have a "runway" instead. Projects on the runway are, somewhat perversely, "in flight", until they've "landed". I keep thinking that these people have clearly never been to an airport.

Medievalist
01-31-2013, 12:31 AM
Stake holders
Collaterals

I can't go on . . . it's too painful.

Jargon can be useful, but mostly, it's annoying.

randi.lee
01-31-2013, 12:43 AM
We have a new buzzword floating around the office: Synergize!

I love it.

mirandashell
01-31-2013, 03:10 AM
I've seen that written down in 'Mission Statements'. What does it mean?

onesecondglance
01-31-2013, 11:03 AM
Left hand: "I'm buying flour!"
Right hand: "I'm buying eggs!"
Both: "Hey, why don't we make some cakes?"

Synergy is pretty much used as a synonym for "working together".

EMaree
01-31-2013, 01:50 PM
I got sent a 'swim lane' document this morning. Thanks to this thread, I was prepared. :)

We also call swim lanes 'decision trees' a lot. I much prefer just calling them flow charts.

mirandashell
01-31-2013, 04:47 PM
Left hand: "I'm buying flour!"
Right hand: "I'm buying eggs!"
Both: "Hey, why don't we make some cakes?"

Synergy is pretty much used as a synonym for "working together".


Ah..... that's what it means. That I understand. Thank you!

Roger J Carlson
01-31-2013, 05:37 PM
Interesting. Our process maps have swim lanes, but they're not roads.

We have a "runway" instead. Projects on the runway are, somewhat perversely, "in flight", until they've "landed". I keep thinking that these people have clearly never been to an airport.I wonder if anyone has considered that "swim lanes" don't actually go anywhere. They just continually cover the same ground. Which, come to think of it, makes it a pretty good metaphor.

Write_Askew
01-31-2013, 11:22 PM
My boss is always saying "What I would share with you..."

Sometimes that's a precursor to interesting office information. Sometimes she uses it when she wants you to listen to her. Either way, it makes me nuts. Especially when she says it after answering a question. Of course you're sharing, I asked you to!

EMaree- I'm with you on the acronyms. I work at a university right now, and the acronym for the office I am in is 9 letters long without the school's department name attached to it. And somehow, everyone still uses it like it is completely normal. I love listening to the receptionist try to get it all out and not sound silly. Otherwise, I try not to make direct reference to the office name, to save myself the trouble.

And our new buzzword is "incubator" which always makes me think of baby chickens, and has nothing to do with the program...

onesecondglance
01-31-2013, 11:33 PM
We're huge on TLAs. Three Letter Acronyms.

EMaree
02-01-2013, 12:58 AM
My boss is always saying "What I would share with you..."

Sometimes that's a precursor to interesting office information. Sometimes she uses it when she wants you to listen to her. Either way, it makes me nuts. Especially when she says it after answering a question. Of course you're sharing, I asked you to!

Heh. I'm reminded of an old manager, who would always start his conversations with "I need some help with [such and such], and let me tell you for why..."

It's one of those phrases that most people would never string together, and could never use without sounding ridiculous, but he used it well.

Write_Askew
02-01-2013, 07:49 AM
Heh. I'm reminded of an old manager, who would always start his conversations with "I need some help with [such and such], and let me tell you for why..."

It's one of those phrases that most people would never string together, and could never use without sounding ridiculous, but he used it well.

Yeah, I love when people can do that. To her credit, my boss has a double undergrad degree- one in business and one in psychology. She uses both to her advantage. I've seen her open up a conversation and let someone run with it. She finds out so much more by doing that than she ever would by outright asking. They recently did a round of interviews for a new position and the stuff people were willing to tell her in them...it blew my mind.

I know saying "That's what I would share with you" is her way of imparting a confidential air to the conversation. It makes you feel like she's very trusting and willing to confide, which in a business situation is very useful.

As for the three word acronyms...I only wish we could pare it down to three. It would be nice. Unfortunately that's not something the hyper-pedantic folks at my job are into. Bless their hearts...

onesecondglance
02-01-2013, 02:14 PM
As for the three word acronyms...I only wish we could pare it down to three. It would be nice. Unfortunately that's not something the hyper-pedantic folks at my job are into. Bless their hearts...

What's especially annoying is when people shoehorn in another word to make it three letters...

jjdebenedictis
02-02-2013, 04:55 AM
In the realms of expensive science, there is a trend to find acronyms that one can use for branding purposes. Appropriately-descriptive words are jiggled together until their acronym forms a catchy sorta-word, and if a mascot or image-rich logo can be attached to the project thanks to that sorta-word, all the better.

The BaBar project is a perfect example. They were studying the B-Bbar meson. So why not call the project Babar and get permission to use the image of that elephant from the children's books?

amergina
02-02-2013, 05:03 AM
Deploy/undeploy rather than install/uninstall.

dclary
02-02-2013, 05:13 AM
I'm currently working on a project designed to calendarize utility usage data. Yes. I'm on the calendarization project.

Yesterday, just to annoy the project manager, I sent an email asking him about specific calendarizationisms he wanted accomplished.

:|

EMaree
02-02-2013, 04:09 PM
Deploy/undeploy rather than install/uninstall.

That one makes sense to me because it refers to sending a program over the network instead of installing it directly from an installer or disc. Or at least, it should mean that if it's being used properly.

But that could just be because I find deploy more of a fun word that install. It makes me think of deploying missiles.

Chris P
02-02-2013, 04:11 PM
"Let's paint this with a broad brush-stroke and look at it from the 30,000-foot level."

benbradley
02-02-2013, 05:33 PM
There must be a Dilbert cartoon where people are in a meeting playing Business Buzzword Bingo.

Monetize. Is that from the dot-com era, or Web 2.0 era?
Actionize (?)

There was a manager who say the business slogans about "working harder, not smarter," and what was actually one of the most dangerous things you could do in a large corporation: "think outside the box."

Wilde_at_heart
02-02-2013, 10:27 PM
Inflated job titles or completely meaningless ones like 'associate'.



"synergy" cannot be created by one entity
"real time"... as opposed to artificial time? or imaginary time?

Those two drive me bonkers. As well as the hackneyed metaphors like 'one the same page', 'outside the box', 'pushing the envelope'.

They all need to die.

amergina
02-03-2013, 01:51 AM
That one makes sense to me because it refers to sending a program over the network instead of installing it directly from an installer or disc. Or at least, it should mean that if it's being used properly.

But that could just be because I find deploy more of a fun word that install. It makes me think of deploying missiles.

I don't actually mind deploy... it's undeploy that I loathe.

Recall or withdraw. You don't undeploy troops or missiles. If you deploy software to a server, you should withdraw it from the server.

undeploy. *shudder*

benbradley
02-04-2013, 03:25 AM
"at the end of the day" except they're never actually referring to the end of a day
"diarize" meaning to put in one's diary as a reminder
"get smart" as in "we need to get smart about ..."
I remember Get Smart. In one episode there's a scene where a car blows up, and last we saw, the boss (I forget the character's name, it's been a little while) was waiting in it. In the next scene Agent Smart is surprised to see his boss living and in good shape, and asks what happened. "I was out of smokes so I walked across the street to get a pack of cigarettes, and the next thing I knew, my car blew up." Agent Smart responds "And they say smoking is bad for you!"
</odd 1960s derail>

"synergy" cannot be created by one entityOkay, never mind all those electronic music albums written and composed solely by Larry Fast. :D

"real time"... as opposed to artificial time? or imaginary time?
Real Time has a specific technical meaning regarding computers (from back when computers were big, slow and expensive). It means a computer (or program) can solve a problem within a specific amount of time dictated by some real-life task. If a computer could, for example, calculate a missile trajectory fast enough to move motors of a gun aiming platform and shoot the the missile out of the sky, then it is said to run in real time. Computer games run in real time.

Inflated job titles or completely meaningless ones like 'associate'.
I don't thing "associate" is totally meaningless - I see it as a polite way of saying "at the bottom of this organization."

Those two drive me bonkers. As well as the hackneyed metaphors like 'one the same page', 'outside the box', 'pushing the envelope'.

They all need to die."Pushing the envelope" also has a technical meaning, originally with flying an aircraft outside its guaranteed flight specification, and later of operating any device outside its guaranteed range of operations (overclocking a computer could be said to be pushing the envelope).

Of course, like most any phrase used outside its original meaning, when used in another context these could mean most anything.

Keep in touch.

:D

jennontheisland
02-04-2013, 04:14 AM
Real Time has a specific technical meaning regarding computers (from back when computers were big, slow and expensive). It means a computer (or program) can solve a problem within a specific amount of time dictated by some real-life task. If a computer could, for example, calculate a missile trajectory fast enough to move motors of a gun aiming platform and shoot the the missile out of the sky, then it is said to run in real time. Computer games run in real time.


Which is cute if you're talking about computers. But I work in construction.

And if your ISP is totally not living up to their side of the deal, video games do not work in real time. Bloody lag.

Roger J Carlson
02-04-2013, 09:10 PM
There must be a Dilbert cartoon where people are in a meeting playing Business Buzzword Bingo.

http://lurkertech.com/buzzword-bingo/dilbert-buzzword.jpg

JimmyB27
02-05-2013, 04:38 AM
"Can you action this please?" No, no I can't. I can do it though, if you'd like.
Ourselves and yourselves. As in "That email came through to ourselves, but we can't deal with it, so we're forwarding it on to yourselves." GAH!!

jennontheisland
02-05-2013, 06:21 AM
"Can you action this please?" No, no I can't. I can do it though, if you'd like.
Ourselves and yourselves. As in "That email came through to ourselves, but we can't deal with it, so we're forwarding it on to yourselves." GAH!!
"Please reply to myself or George."

benbradley
02-05-2013, 06:36 AM
May myself reply to George's self?

jennontheisland
02-07-2013, 10:35 PM
I don't know if this one's come up yet, but "dialoging"

A prof used it in class yesterday. She's invited a guest speaker and she wants to get us dialoging with him.

Graham Clayton
05-16-2013, 04:42 AM
"in this space"

BradyH1861
05-16-2013, 06:47 AM
Just the other day I told a coworker that the next time someone used the phrase "hunker down", I would kick the offender in the ummentionables.

I don't know why, but I HATE that phrase. Maybe because it gets used too often.

Myrealana
05-16-2013, 07:01 AM
We have a new one at our office -- we're now not a Department, we're a Center of Excellence.

Implying we were only excellence-adjacent previously?

southbel
05-16-2013, 07:14 AM
I work for the gov't. They absolutely love making up words and acronyms (which they like to use as verbs). Oh and everything is a strategy (e.g. contract strategy, workforce strategy, IT strategy, requirements strategy [what does that mean????]. external strategy, internal strategy, etc). Must admit it was fun for a while there when everyone called it strategery instead of strategy.

I've actually gotten emails that read like this:

ALCON,
DIACAP/DITSCAP POAM for ATO C&A needed ASAP for SPIDER. Consult with IAT and SME wrt CIO Collab.


Kill me now please.

onesecondglance
05-16-2013, 10:39 AM
One doing the rounds at work at the moment is "socialise". As in: "We need to socialise this idea." I.e. "make people familiar with it". Urgh.

Caitlin Black
05-16-2013, 11:35 AM
I wonder... Do all these acronyms get invented to save time and thus make more profit quicker?

Wouldn't it be quicker still to just make everyone hand over their wallet?

JimmyB27
05-16-2013, 02:29 PM
More and more people around here seem to be replacing 'regarding' with 'reference'.
As in, "I'm just calling reference your email".

mirandashell
05-16-2013, 04:03 PM
The new thing at my workplace is 'getting to know each other to understand how we can best work together as a directorate'.

Oh gawd.......

We are being forced to do personality tests and to contribute personal details to an 'All About Me' booklet being put together by 'the Learning and Development Directorate'.

Somebody kill me now.......

Myrealana
05-16-2013, 04:14 PM
You know, I get a lot of these kind of phrases in my email:


More and more people around here seem to be replacing 'regarding' with 'reference'.
As in, "I'm just calling reference your email".


One doing the rounds at work at the moment is "socialise". As in: "We need to socialise this idea." I.e. "make people familiar with it". Urgh.

But I always attributed it to the language barrier. Most of the people I work with are in Germany, Poland or Norway. At least I can give them the benefit of the doubt.

onesecondglance
06-11-2014, 02:33 PM
Resurrecting this for a particularly egregious example, overheard in the lift just now:

"We need to work on our hedgehog concept."

mirandashell
06-11-2014, 02:44 PM
Eh? How to roll into a ball to protect your soft bits?

onesecondglance
06-11-2014, 06:08 PM
I think so?

Something about a fox coming up with lots of ideas of how to eat a hedgehog, but a hedgehog just curls up into a ball every time?

I was just trying not to laugh out loud.

mirandashell
06-11-2014, 06:17 PM
:ROFL:

I don't blame you!

Phoebs
06-11-2014, 07:37 PM
I'm currently working in a chemistry lab and so pretty much every word I say is pretty clunky. I don't mind it usually, but one think I really hate (in all science) is when people use vague words.

e.g. an association between to compounds or atoms

wtf is an association? how is it associated? Is it a covalent bond or bound in some way by intermolecular forces??

Also wow "lens" and "learn" are both really annoying. Haven't heard either yet though.

Ramshackle
06-11-2014, 07:46 PM
"We need to work on our hedgehog concept."

:tongue

iLion
06-11-2014, 08:40 PM
Yes, Phoebs... and I find that there are always people in the room who will be nodding their heads as if they totally and completely understand what was meant. We get the same thing in IT world.

mirandashell
06-11-2014, 08:45 PM
I'm one of annoying people who put on a quizzical expression and say 'I'm really sorry and I know I'm being a bit thick but.... I'm not sure what that means. Could you explain it to me?'

People tend to stop using office bollocks around me......

SWest
06-11-2014, 08:48 PM
...

"We need to work on our hedgehog concept."

That'll be all fun and games until someone gets half a peanut jammed between their top teeth...

RNJ
06-11-2014, 11:34 PM
We "ping" people, as in contacting them by whatever appropriate means (email, phone, etc.) I don't like to be "pinged".

Tazlima
06-12-2014, 03:19 AM
Synergy, ugh. I'm with you on that one.

For some reason the term "metrics" rubs me the wrong way, and I used to know a woman who constantly greeted people with a chirpy, "Happy Wednesday!" (or whatever day).

Today, in an attempt to resolve a mix-up, I had to make a million phone calls, alternating between one of my coworkers and a local utility company who had screwed up our records. After two hours of this, my exasperated co-worker burst out with (completely innocently), "Do you know how to do a three-way? You know, so we can all talk together?"

It was all I could do to keep a straight face. I didn't even correct him because he would be terribly embarrassed if he realized what he had said.

benbradley
06-12-2014, 03:38 AM
We "ping" people, as in contacting them by whatever appropriate means (email, phone, etc.) I don't like to be "pinged".
That's one thing that literally started on the Internet.

Chase
06-12-2014, 07:49 PM
My work is editing. I see lots of strange applications of words in my workplace. One is a common and curious use of "ground," most not as cute as Roger's purposefully mixed metaphor:


I wonder if anyone has considered that "swim lanes" don't actually go anywhere. They just continually cover the same ground. Which, come to think of it, makes it a pretty good metaphor.

For instance, a writer will depict a character in a high-rise apartments as being stabbed and falling to the ground. While I'm imagining a plummet over a balcony into a garden plot or lawn, I read further and find the victim actually slumped to the floor, carpet, linoleum, or tiles--not the earthy, grassy ground.

Must be my dirt-farm upbringing :D

Rotes
06-13-2014, 02:29 AM
Biotech has learned to abuse the term "synergy" in a way such that it no longer even has anything resembling meaning.
It is 100% buzzword.

"Synergistic solutions for Real-Time PCR!"
PCR, mind you, never requires more than one person.
In fact, it requires all of three minutes for set up, then you don't look at it again for like hours.

A friend of mine made a drinking game out of reading published articles from big process development companies (thermo or biorad, for instance) and taking a shot each time you see the word synergy. This is apparently a really good way to get alcohol poisoning.