I like that, I'll use it . . .

Buzz words. We all love a good buzz word, don’t we? “A word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or

in a particular context.” For some reason, the use of them makes us feel good . . . we feel knowledgable, important, ‘up to the minute’.

Or, we just really like the concept of them. Nothing wrong with that. I love a good buzz word myself! If you have the time and want a good laugh, type in ‘buzz words’ on google and scroll down for a while . . . you will immediately find that certain people you know leap to mind.

There’s even buzz word bingo!

When I was in my early twenties, one of my bosses had a couple of really grating buzz phrases.

“Could you give me a ball park figure on that?” & “That’s all tickety boo!”, were a couple of sentences which could raise my ire instantly.

Take resilience, for instance. Who wouldn’t want to use the word resilience, or be perceived as being a person who demonstrates resilience. The trouble is, like anything, a concept is relative to those using it, along with the understanding and value they place on it.

Here’s a few things I have observed about buzz words . . . and tips for their usage.

  1. Use buzz words as a pick me up during the day particularly when no one has noticed anything of value in what you’re doing. Even if they don’t notice, you will feel better.

  2. Use buzz words within earshot of people you are trying to impress or get to notice you.

  3. Use buzz words to impress your future employer. Just make sure you actually understand the right context for use of said buzz word . . . or you’re in the smelly stuff.

  4. Use buzz words to give an air of authority and confidence in terrifying social situations such as work parties and 50th birthdays. Why 50th birthdays you ask? Well, that’s often when mature and sophisticated discussion is expected!

  5. Recognise that buzz words only work when they are still currently ‘on trend’ – no one is interested once they’re not, and sadly you will be embarrassing yourself.

  6. Appreciate the power of a good buzz word and don’t overdo it – like a hidden ‘old maid’ in a classic card game, you want to pull it out for effect to surprise and (hopefully) delight.

  7. Understand your audience. No point in wasting a great joke on someone who doesn’t have a funny bone, you don’t want that ‘burst balloon’ feeling. It’s a real downer.

  8. For maximum effect, don’t familiarise your family on your latest buzz word. Unfortunately familiarity breeds contempt, and they are likely to role their eyes heavenwards during a conversation with a friend or acquaintance which can dilute the power of your punch.

  9. When stuck in a corner with a distant relative who is not bothering to ask you any questions about yourself, try to discover their favourite buzz word. Start off with “Tell me more about . . . ” You’d be amazed how long some people can talk about their favourite buzz word without coming up for air. Then leave them to it and go in search of the sausie rolls.


Here are some of my personal faves . . .

Counselling: Unpack “I need a coffee and I’m just about to knock off, so can you keep babbling for another ten minutes?”

Best practice “In an ideal world on a good hair day . . . what would you do?”

Education: Paradigm “Just give me an example, you idiot!”,

Think outside the box “Look, we need to be creative here . . . can you come up with something random and we’ll run with it!”

Business: Visibility “I don’t want you stuffing this up, so you better tell me what you’re up to!”,

Sustainability “Can we actually keep this up, cos it’s flipping demanding!”

© 2015 Rose Stanley.  All rights reserved.