Buzzwords And Other Hated Words
October 28, 2003 9:11 PM   Subscribe

The Interactive Buzzword-Compliant Semantic Symbiosis Systemization : w00t! What's not to hate? (Other words I truly hate are fancy; delusional; slag; uber; natty and solace.)
posted by MiguelCardoso (30 comments total)
I don't like fancy, but I like fancy-free. I love the word avuncular.
posted by The God Complex at 1:42 AM on October 29, 2003

seamlessly integrates...

wrong. (also see: Seams, coming apart at).

Also, I can't say the word "abominable". I just get started and can't ever stop...
posted by taz at 3:12 AM on October 29, 2003

The ones that get me the most annoyed are the manager-types who use nouns as verbs...

I simple refuse to "Action" something. Oh sure, I will act on an idea. I might even act upon something. I will not, however, action it.

I wish I could remember more examples of this hideous form of corp-speak. Anyone else have any?
posted by Richat at 3:19 AM on October 29, 2003

I hate the word "buzzword." I also wish avuncular had a cooler meaning, so I could it more.
posted by The God Complex at 3:19 AM on October 29, 2003

And I hate people who incessantly nominalize everything. Fucking grade students and their dissertations. I refuse to dissertation my speech patterns.
posted by The God Complex at 3:22 AM on October 29, 2003

hey, TGC, you're complexing me.
posted by taz at 3:43 AM on October 29, 2003

Avuncular is one of my favorite words as well, TGC. Also, brouhaha.

Tangentially, and old as the hills, the Dack web economy bullshit generator.

(Way back when I wrote one almost the same, but more, er, targeted, in VB (shudder) to make fun of the Mission Statement A Week management doodooheads that eventually killed the last tech firm I worked at, and released it into the wilds of the intranet. That was fun.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:44 AM on October 29, 2003

All the ladies tell me that.

I know this thread isn't about words we love, but I love words, and I love the word hokum.
posted by The God Complex at 3:44 AM on October 29, 2003

and "bunkum"... all those "kum" words - especially "kumquat".
posted by taz at 3:52 AM on October 29, 2003

I like the word hokum for the meaning more than anything (it's just an interesting word to use), while something like avuncular appeals to me on a purely aesthetic level: it looks and sounds cool.

I also use abominable like it's going out of style (which it has, by the by).
posted by The God Complex at 4:07 AM on October 29, 2003

i wasn't familiar with the practice of using "bandwidth" in a personal rather than technical manner...i find it creepy.
posted by ifjuly at 4:42 AM on October 29, 2003

this goes along with the BullFighter software that was posted a while back... I use it on every presentation and story we do at work. Oops - am I going to get fired for that?
posted by djspicerack at 5:29 AM on October 29, 2003

Miguel! You fancy delusional slag! Do not you not realize that the natty ├╝bermensch find solace in words people dislike?

sorry -- I had to do it. I will run away now.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:30 AM on October 29, 2003

Miguel, do you hate fancy in all its forms, or just particular ones? Could a nice Portuguese girl take your fancy? (or maybe not if she has fancy pants). How about if she presented you with a delicious French Fancy? I'll assume you wouldn't think of her as a slag anyway, or at least not enough to slag her off for it, even if she took you round her smelting tip.
posted by biffa at 6:30 AM on October 29, 2003

The ones that get me the most annoyed are the manager-types who use nouns as verbs...

I once had an interview at a law firm where the hiring partner suggested he was going to "incentivize" me. I backed away slowly, and did not return.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:31 AM on October 29, 2003

I love the word solace. I think it's beautiful and soothing. And Sarah McLachlan has an album named Solace.

solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace solace

okay, now I'm tired of it too. Look what you made me do, Miguel! No candy for you!
posted by widdershins at 6:33 AM on October 29, 2003

Anemone. Anemone.


I once watched, fascinated, as someone said, "I'll make a point of contact with her to action that." You mean you'll call her and ask her to do it? Yes. That's what she meant.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:24 AM on October 29, 2003

Yeah, how can you possibly dislike "solace"? It's a beautiful word, used with loving care since the 13th century (c.1290: "Hidere thou come for ovre solas"):
1483 Caxton Gold. Leg. 203/2, I am with thee and shalle gyve to thee the solace of my servaunt Paule. 1575 Mirr. Mag., Hen. VI, xvii, The solace of my soule my chiefest pleasure was.
1593 Shaks. 2 Hen. VI, ii. iii. 21 Sorrow would [have] sollace, and mine Age would ease.
1597 Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. lxxvi. ┬ž8 All which solaces and comforts of this our unquiet life it pleaseth God oftentimes to bestow.
1611 Heywood Gold. Age i. i, I'le warre with comfort, be at oddes with solace.
1667 Milton P.L. iv. 486 To have thee by my side Henceforth an individual solace dear.
1677 Marvell Corr. Wks. (Grosart) II. 560 You will.. have the usual solace of those who goe to law, that your adversary hath been at no lesse charges.
1839 James Louis XIV, III. 143 Though the relief of reading was allowed as some solace to his overloaded heart.

Not to mention its use by printers:
1683 Moxon Mech. Exerc., Printing 357 The Penalty for the breach of.. these Laws and Customs is in Printers Language called a Solace... If the Delinquent..would not pay his Solace.. they Solac'd him. 1784 B. Franklin in Ann. Reg., Chron. (1817) 385 This foolish letter is mere chit-chat between ourselves... If, therefore, you show it to any body,.. I will positively solless you. 1888 Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 128 Solace, a penalty imposed by the chapel for the infringement of any of its rules.

Admit it: it's a fine upstanding word!
posted by languagehat at 7:59 AM on October 29, 2003

The ones that get me the most annoyed are the manager-types who use nouns as verbs

This also bugs the hell out of me, but probably for a different reason. It just feels like some dead-eyed marketing jerk overheard some nerds talking funny, and decided to get in on the hip new lingo the kids were using these days. Far out.
posted by majcher at 8:10 AM on October 29, 2003

how can you possibly dislike "solace"?

Because it sounds like "solas", and makes Miguel think of feet?

I agree, languagehat, it's a beautiful word.
posted by rory at 8:32 AM on October 29, 2003

You might be right, languagehat and rory (solas means "soles" and "soul" is a word I love. I dislike "solace" because of the treacly ending and the sticky meaning - I hate the French verb soulager too. It's a fuzzy blanket word; an easy lay; an obviousness.*

Biffa: I specially hate the use "do you fancy him?". I also dislike "nancy" (as in "nancy boy") and Tom Clancy.

*(No, sorry, still hate it...) :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:44 AM on October 29, 2003

Hmm, now that we have our resident language experts' attention, maybe one of you can answer this for me: I detest the word kestrel and I'm really not sure why. It just seems so ugly and mean and hateful. But I can't think of any related words that would justify such a reaction, and I certainly haven't had any deep psychological scars infected by one.

I don't mind the 'do you fancy him' usage - it seems quite descriptive to me. More than like, less than love, implies attraction and desire - what's not to like? Nancy, OTOH, is horrible. I don't much like grok either. Solace, though - aahhhh. Music to the ears.
posted by widdershins at 9:02 AM on October 29, 2003

just to pre-empt: castrate doesn't bother me, nor does castigate.
posted by widdershins at 9:04 AM on October 29, 2003

So are "furnace" and "malice" treacly-ended too?

I shall find solace
said fanciful Alice
In dancing around
My delusional palace

And if I show malice
Or act at all callous
Then slag off my name
And throw me in a furnace
posted by rory at 9:07 AM on October 29, 2003

Miguel, having managed to spot a pattern there, I'm desperate to hear you pronounce the words 'I really fancy that nancy, Tom Clancy'.

I bet you don't like Hardy Drew either.
posted by biffa at 9:11 AM on October 29, 2003

widdershins, did you read Watership Down as a kid? Because there's quite a bit of kestrel terror in there - until, you know, the kestrel and the hares begin to fancy each other....
posted by taz at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2003

Hmmm... this is totally outside the buzzword discussion, but you've got me thinking about the reasons for hating and loving certain words.

Here, off the top of my head, are English words I hate:


And some I love:


I guess I love English words that couldn't be anything else...?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:53 AM on October 29, 2003

widdershins: I've spent the last ten minutes wondering about "kestrel", which is indeed horrendous, but can't find a decent reason for hating it. Even though, as a teenager, I loved Barry Hine's book, tellingly abbreviated to Kes. The Ken Loach film based on it is also charming.

Hmmm... "Wastrel" is quite good. Though not as good as "ne'er-do-well". Might it be the consonants or the bird itself? Or the echoes of "Castroil"?

But you're right; it's an ugly, ugly word.

*remains dumbfucked*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:19 AM on October 29, 2003

taz, no, never read that. My stomach clenches at the thought of reading pages upon pages of kestrel terror...

Ah Miguel, my porcine-loving friend, at least I'm not alone in my hatred of kestrel. I have no problem w/wastrel either, and I quite like minstrel. *sigh* It's a conundrum an enigma.
posted by widdershins at 12:23 PM on October 29, 2003

I can't figure out why you guys don't like kestrel (perhaps you'd like it better under its earlier form castrel*?), but I will take this opportunity to highly recommend the movie Kestrel's Eye, a documentary of several months in the lives of a pair of kestrels living in a church tower in southern Sweden. No narration, no music, just the sounds of the birds and the wind. Absolutely riveting (assuming, of course, you like that sort of thing).

*1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. iii. 170 There is a kinde of Hauke, that naturally is terrible to other Haukes, and preserveth the Pigion: the common people call it Castrell.
posted by languagehat at 1:42 PM on October 29, 2003

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