Message This

It is interesting how phrases can become fads. Spreading througout the business world almost overnight. Kind of like when you were a kid and you could not wait to take Pop Rocks to school and amaze your friends with this new amazing chemistry in a colorful packet....only to find that every other kid had the same idea. Or when you thought your best friend was the mastermind behind the phrase "psych out " only to have your cousin from the east coast use the phrase at your family reunion. Somehow these verbal morsels are propagated through some unknown fabric to schools and conference rooms around the globe (or the country at least). Some words get used a lot because people simply like the way they sound, so they work hard to work them into explanations. These are words like bifurcate, orthogonal or exacerbate; as in "we need to bifurcate the tests into orthogonal sets to see which input is exacerbating the failures." Another colloquial practice is to use nouns as verbs, such as "we need to solution this", "text me your response" or "IM me". This brings us to acronyms. These little time savers are fertile territory for mis-use (especially the three letter variety or TLAs as they are known). You may be told "Enter your PIN number in the ATM machine." Last I checked, PIN is a TLA for Personal Identification Number and ATM is a TLA for Automatic Teller Machine. So instead, perhaps I should "enter my PI number in the AT Machine". Another interesting thing is when acronyms are pronounced to make a new word. For example, the American National Standards Institue- ANSI is pronounced "an'see", and the National Association of Stock Car Racing - NASCAR is pronounced "nās'kär". And speaking of sports...another favorite is using sports terms to describe business situations; as in "the rest of this issue should just be blocking and tackling" , "we don't need a home run on this one" or "this should get us on the fairway". So don't be surprised in tomorrow's big meeting when you hear someone promulgate, "we could get called for icing if we message the resulting IOPS (eye'ŏps) per second in an excitatory way."