What Words Would You Like to Banish?

Yesterday I was in a session at Ad:Tech in San Francisco and some of the familiar tech cliches were flying fast and furiously. Repeated mentions of “Long Tail” is the one that triggered this Twitter reaction from me:


That “tweet” got a couple of reactions:


Nobody mentioned “on steroids.” 🙂

Why do you think these phrases are used with so much frequency?

  • They indicate “membership” in the insiders tech cabal?
  • They’re useful shorthand for larger and more complex ideas?
  • They’re a lazy substitute for more a well-thought-out discussion of issues?

What other words would you like to banish from the tech-lexicon?


21 Responses to “What Words Would You Like to Banish?”

  1. Noah Elkin Says:

    I vote for the elimination of “impact” (as a verb), “impactful” and “impacted” (unless referring to teeth).

  2. Bryson Meunier Says:

    “Link love” and “link juice” have been on my hit list for a while.

    I think the answer to your question about why these phrases are used so frequently is “all of the above”. Depends on the speaker and the context.

    As usual, the Onion explains it best:
    Manager Achieves Full Mastery of Managerial Jargon

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Very funny. Thanks Bryson

  4. Bob Armour Says:

    I would banish “24/7” and “at the end of the day”

  5. Papers w/o Print: Just Another News Site? « Screenwerk Says:

    […] this suggests is that there’s “synergy” (perhaps a candidate for banishment) between the print and online editions. If print is lost then the online only pub becomes just one […]

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    “At the end of the day” Yes! Excellent.

  7. Gene Daly Says:

    “At the end of the day” needs to go.

    As in “At the end of the day, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

    Which I actually heard a panelist say at a recent conference when asked to wrap up the discussion on determining online media strategies.

  8. Greg Sterling Says:

    If this list gets good enough I’ll publish it and ask people to vote on the choices.

  9. David Mihm Says:

    There was a great IBM ad a couple of years ago, “Buzzword Bingo,” that always cracked me up.

  10. Greg Sterling Says:

    David: Funny, doesn’t go far enough. I remember playing “buzzword bingo” in meetings in 1998

  11. Rob Says:

    Maybe because I’m a bit grumpy today 😉 but how about some of the sacred cows for the list: “Local Search” or any of the overused acronyms (UGC, PPC, SEO, SEM) that make up the alphabet soup we tend to all swim in.

    Also rising fast on my list is “FaceBook Friend”.

  12. Bartz Says F**K on Earnings Call « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Yeah!  Now that’s the opposite of banal jargon-laced corporate-speak. […]

  13. Paul Pedersen Says:

    Always hated “next generation”, “paradigm shift” and “relationship marketing”. How about “open social”?

    Of course we always have the classics like “let’s keep this ‘on the radar'” or “give me a ‘download’ of what happened”.

  14. Rich Hargrave Says:

    And from the sales side: “low hanging fruit” makes me want to “choke on it”! Also, “getting traction” or “ramping up” –

  15. Will Scott Says:

    The real problem is that in context many have meaning. “Low hanging fruit” and “Long Tail” are good examples.

    Same thing with “Paradigm Shift” (who was alive long enough ago to have read the book?) and “Relationship Marketing” – in context, and not as hyperbole, really useful descriptions.

    That said (yes, I know), I would totally do away with “Right Sizing”, for EVER.

    And there’s one I’d resurrect which doesn’t get nearly enough buzz time “Share of Wallet”.


  16. Marina Martin Says:

    I would personally like to banish the word “Twitter” 😉

    “Long-tail” may be overused, but it’s still a helpful descriptive term. What word/phrase would take it’s place? “Low-volume traffic terms/sources that are significant in aggregate” just doesn’t have the same ring.

  17. Matt Says:

    using fail when it should be failure

  18. Mike Boland Says:

    The word leverage. Drives me crazy. Sometimes it makes sense but 98 percent of the time it’s just a fancy substitution for the word “use”.

    Other places to find good Jargon: Every “about us” section written for a tech company, ever.

  19. brad geddes Says:

    Tapped (is anyone hired or recruited anymore?)
    Integrated marketing (yes – we all need more than 1 marketing channel)
    Social media expert (3 twitter followers and a blog doesn’t make you an expert)
    110% (it’s not even possible, at 100% effort, you’ve maxed yourself out)

    I’m actually OK w/ long tail as a concept term. It does describe scenarios better than an impactful synergistic paradigm shift.

  20. Greg Sterling Says:

    It can join the list at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23wordkill

  21. bingo Says:

    Another vote here for at the end of the day – and “in the loop” that one needs banning too

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