Tuesday, October 15

Rummmblings about a new buzzkiller venture afoot. Instead of just dissing everybody, we'll be giving awards! True, most of the awards will be for worst-such-and-such and for most-pointless-so-and-so, but it'll be a step in the right direction.

Thursday, August 8

One from Africa:

> From: Rosemary Ekosso
> Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 20:07:46 +0200 (CEST)
> To: teeth@buzzkiller.net
> Subject: Add Cameroon to US and Canada
> Hello!
> I think you should add Cameroon to your list of countries because I am right
> here in the heart of Africa with mosquitoes nipping at my ankles as I type.
> I am a conference interpreter, so while I hate buzzwords, I am forced to learn
> them becuse people insist on speaking like that.
> I'm sending mail by this means because I was unable to do so on your site. I
> suspect my server has legionnaire's disease, though I'm not quite sure.
> My pet hates:
> Good governance - it has now replaced plain old starvation as a reason for
> getting foreign aid.
> Interface - have even heard it used as a euphemism for intercourse of a more
> intimate kind.
> I tohugh I was was the only person below middle age who hated these things.
> Congratulations.
> Rosemary Ekosso
> Senior Translator/Conference Interpreter

[ed. note: Greetings, Rosemary!

It's great to hear from you, but terrible to hear that the buzzword pestilence has spread to the west coast of Africa. If only we could translate buzzwords into mosquito language and broadcast them over loudspeakers, the mosquitoes would stay away from conferences.

Thanks for the letter. ]

Monday, July 22

Here's a bunch of the sumbissions (sp!) we've heard recently. Chime in if you have any to add or if you think any of these folks are being a little too picky.
From: Lori Wilson
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 14:48:30 -0500
Subject: submission

How about "revolutionary?" We nixed that word in an ad we were editing today. It really seemed overused to us and, if you have to say something is revolutionary, it probably isn't -- or you probably haven't kept up with your competition.

Thank you,
Lori Wilson

From: "Des Walsh" (Australia)
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 17:22:50 +1000
Subject: going forward

going forward

as in

we expect significant upside going forward

they mean

we want you to believe we are going to make a profit next year even though
you know we've been losing money hand over fist for the past two years

What ever happened to
in future
next year

and so on?

Des Walsh
The WebArts Company
Sydney, Australia


[editor's note: lots of submissions from Down Under. we *love* the Aussies and Kiwis]

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 14:05:22 +1000
To: teeth@buzzkiller.net
Subject: word watch


I'm at B. School in Australia and send a regular email out to friends with my fav. outrageous jargon...i won't bore you with the usual (leverage etc).

My favourite past time at the moment is trying to use B. School jargon in everyday language. It's a hoot.

Here's some from the hit list:

"water-involved" - the water-involved are people who either own a filtration device and/or drink bottled water, but are NOT happy with the quality.

"effort neutral" - someone who does no goddamn work in a B. School syndicate group

"focuses on own scope" - as above

"at the end of the day" - good lord I'm sick of hearing this hackneyed phrase

"white/gray space" - eg The premise underlying the development of xxxStrategy is that "white/gray" space exists in the market around the provision of xxx services to mass/mass affluent customers and that xxx has competitive advantages and greater reason to tackle the opportunity.
interpretation (i think)
white space - market is wide open
gray space - it sort of isn't

"optimal abandonment rate"

"timing difference" - this was actually said by an Australian chairman asking his CEO "whether there was reason for concern about company cash flow or whether it was just a timing difference."! That is are we going down or are you just "technically" insolvent...

Best regards
Nicole Williamson

"talking cock" - means using B. School jargon

[ed. note: also describes a person who uses b. school jargon]


From: Tom Ziegler
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 11:43:05 -0500
Subject: From the Do not Eschew Obfuscation Department:

I ran across this little gem while cruising the wires. I'm a writer for
Hoover's, which is a business information Web site. While I never get
pitches from pr twinks, I do have to navigate the goobbledy-gook of press
releases. Noticing the headline of the following release, I wondered just
what Avery Dennison does. A quick scan to the fourth paragraph revealed
that the company is "a global leader in pressure-sensitive technology and
innovative self-adhesive solutions for consumer products and label
You make stickers, you jerks.
Tom Ziegler
Trade and Consumer
Hoover's Online


From: "Guy Clapperton"
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 17:18:49 +0100
Subject: Submission

So I get this voicemail yesterday offering me some 'exclusive research' from Unisys. They're doing one to ones on Thursday and Friday. And they call back today.

Me: I'm confused, in what way is this exclusive if they're doing one to
They: Well, Unisys has commissioned this research (READS CORPORATE SPIEL WITH NO ATTENTION TO MY QUESTION).
Me: And 'exclusive'?
They: Well, (NAMES TWO TITLES) have it at the moment so it's under embargo until 8 June when they come out, and after that it's up for grabs.
Me: So in other words you're offering exclusive research, but basically it's exclusive to someone else...

And they still didn't understand why I might not be interested.

Guy Clapperton


From: Chris Bell
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 16:30:17 +1200
To: teeth@buzzkiller.net
Subject: Going forward

Greetings, Buzzkillers.

Do people over there say "going forward" when what they really mean is "at some unspecified time in the future"? I'm afraid New Zealanders appear to have picked it up from visiting US business people. It drives me nuts. Certain Martin Amis novels apart, time only moves in the one direction: Forward.

I thus nominate "going forward" for inclusion in the hallowed ranks of Buzz.

Chris Bell
MIS (Managing Information Strategies)
Fairfax Business Media
New Zealand


From: "Malecek, Chris"
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 08:06:28 -0500
To: "'teeth@buzzkiller.net'"
Subject: Monument to Mendacity

The news release from Qwest announcing Nacchio's demise. Wow. The quotes
from Joe are priceless. He's proud of all that he's accomplished (would
that be the 92% decline in the stock, the $26.6 billion in debt or the SEC
investigation into accounting practices?)

By the way, it probably wasn't Qwest that insist Joe maintain his residency
in New Jersey -- and I'll bet he wasn't flying home on United.
Joe Nacchio said, "I am proud of all that we have accomplished in bringing
Qwest to this point. After criss-crossing the globe for five and one-half
grueling years to build Qwest, living in two different cities, and having
achieved our major goals, I have expressed my desire to spend more time with
my family and pursue other opportunities."
Nacchio continued, "The company's fundamentals are strong and it will have
enormous opportunities in the period ahead as Qwest reduces debt and as the
regional economy recovers. Operationally, Qwest's local service results are
at record highs, long-distance approval is within reach and Qwest has the
infrastructure in place to serve its growing market share in enterprise
accounts and to offer long-distance in its region almost immediately after
approval. I look forward to assisting in the transition."


From: "David Kleinman"
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 17:49:05 +0000
To: teeth@buzzkiller.net
Subject: Keeping it unreal

Oh, come now. At least half of the buzzwords used by publicists, hacks and
corporate flacks come from the de facto publicists, hacks and corporate
flacks who call themselves journalists. If you'd spend more time reading
something other than press releases, you'd know that it's the media itself
that has become a prime incubator for jargon and fluff. Just watch the
Washington press corps lob soft balls at the so called president after one
of his so called press conferences. Do something to help restore real
journalism - and the buzzwords will take care of themselves. This nitpick
aside, I find your site amusing, in an annoying sort of missing-the-point
sort of way.


From: "Christopher Davis"
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 16:55:36 -0400
Subject: next level -- argh!!!

re buzzboard:
what about "next level"? argh!!! CD

Thursday, June 6

Friday, May 24

Nice job on the blogs, you guys. really filling it up. yeah!

Friday, May 17

I think it's good.

Waxler, Woolley: start throwing some blog posts up here.

Tuesday, May 14

We are lively-up on buzzkiller 2.0. This blog page is the final frontier.

Monday, May 13

We've had lots of new subscriptions in the last couple of weeks. Also lots of new submissions. Seems our site was mentioned in a newsletter whose name I'm trying to find right now. I'd like to give a little love back to them.

Our new site design looks a little bit like this blogger page here, except much cleaner, of course. Clarity is the goal.

Tuesday, February 5

Received this from a reader today:
"I swear this phrase appeared in a PowerPoint presentation that crossed my
screen today: 'cannibalize competitive adjacencies.' Personally, I think it's the 4th sign of the Apocalypse."
You can almost hear the hoof beats that preceded the screen. Anyone have any definition for -- or defense of -- "adjacencies"?

Friday, January 25

Two interesting things we've learned after the latest release from Buzzkiller:
1) almost 20% of the our subscribers are no longer at their addresses or, more likely, have given up on e-mail and returned to carrier pigeons.
2) the misuse of the English language continues. We've gotten some nice new candidates for the buzzboard, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 23

Man. Somebody must have dropped a big fat rohypnol tablet into our drink. Nine months since we updated this thing. You know what they say: still waters run deep. What the hell does that mean?

Well, it's back on. In a big way. We just put up an all-new page of unbridled sneering and cheap shots aimed at the users of buzzwords and silly marketing argot. Dig it.