Since the world sucks, and looks as though it will continue to suck for the foreseeable future, and since more than one person has asked for some comic relief, I thought we might amuse ourselves as Rome burns as follows.
I thought it might be fun to list terms/words people hate. If I may make a suggestion, please be as ornery (=funny) as possible.
So, I'll list a few:
- Table -- as in, "on/off the table," "bring to the table," etc. I'm sick of this Platonic table already. Fuck the table.
- To reach out to -- as in, "I'm going to reach out to X on that issue that's on the table." I only reach out to someone if I want to have some serious hardcore intimacy or if they're holding out a flotation device and I'm in the North Sea in February.
- Beg(s) the question -- when used improperly. Begging the question does not mean raising a question -- as in, "Doug's little-read blog begs the question of why does he bother?" -- it indicates a tautology, as in, "To say that Doug annoys me because he's annoying begs the question." I'm trying to be funny here, not annoying.
- [any term from the natural or social sciences brought into the business world] As in, paradigm, tipping point, and so on. A sublist, for sure, on which should be incubate, a term now used in business, which I learned when a friend used it during my trip to Colorado last summer. For a minute, I thought his company had moved into Huxleyan cloning. Throw in solution set and other terms hijacked from mathematics.
- Skillset. I fucking hate this term more than life itself. "Skills" works fine. That little "s" at the end of a word tends to make things plural in English. A little pattern I just noticed. "Skillset" just makes one sound more "mathy," "hard," and rigorous -- which is hilarious because we're in the land of "soft" metaphor.
- X is in Y's DNA -- as in, "Winning is just in Lance Armstrong's DNA." The misuse of "DNA" to mean "character" is more than annoying; it reinforces bad biology and worse misconceptions about the sources of behavior.
- To multitask. I'm not a computer. The proper term is, "to be exploited." You can put interface on that list, too. I'm sorry, Dave, I can't let you use that term.
- Mission critical, and any number of other military terms that have been seconded to other duties. Such terms are legion. It's a cheap way to sound tough, focused, and hypermasculine. Instructional design, being mostly fifth-rate behaviorism and DoD-influenced (a historical, not rhetorical statement), has been heavily infiltrated by such terms. No one has yet come up with "e-mission," though.
- To partner. As in, "Bill and Monica will partner on that e-missions project." "Collaborate" is a perfectly good word; "work together" are two words that work well together in this sense.
Since we want to be as negative as possible, I suggest we not argue for terms others hate but rather against terms we hate but are not yet on the list. But feel free to ignore that.