“Disintermediate. Recontextualize. Envisioneer. … You try to process…all the lingo. ‘You mean we should triangulate meaning-centered cohorts?’ you ask in vain, ‘Or focus more on synthesizing technology-enhanced convergence?’”
And the list of baffling monstrosities goes on. The article was well-deservedly cross-posted in many other forums everywhere from Greenwich, CT to San Antonio, TX to Seattle, WA. The takeaway: hard-to-understand fluff does not a buzzword make. Just drop it.
You might also want to check your choices against top-ten lists of overused buzzwords, such as the one on LinkedIn’s official blog. Buzzwords making those lists are often vague in a sense that most people would be able to tack them on to most roles and occupations. In that case, they would probably do little to distinguish you and the way your brand is unique.
Buzzwords are a little like cholesterol: there are “bad” ones and “good” ones. The above should provide good pointers to be wary of the “bad” ones. But how do we know the “good” ones?
A good buzzword is a word that “sprouts” in the mind of the recipient, even “mushrooms” in meaning like some atomic bomb.
In other words: a good buzzword has added-value meaning to industry insiders and other informed audiences.
Example: here is a printing-press operator with in-depth skills using “Heidelberg and Komori printing presses with Coater and Perfector.” Now you and I may not know what any of that is, but an industry insider familiar with the machinery will immediately associate these names with certain specifications and technological capabilities, and the operator’s skills with the capacity for accomplishing such-and-such projects.
Another example: Here is this publishing professional, saying: “I know my way around Chicago.” You and I may think: “Chicago? Why is this person talking about the Windy City? We’re nowhere near Chicago here.”
But a publishing professional knows “Chicago” here refers to the Chicago Manual of Style, a style guide used by many book publishers. On more than 800 pages, it provides many elaborate guidelines for: spelling and capitalization; grammar and usage; punctuation; how to create good bibliographies; and a lot more.
One word—“Chicago”—carrying more than 800 pages’ worth of meaning…how is that for a powerful buzzword. You put it on your résumé, or on your LinkedIn profile, and it “sprouts” in the mind of the targeted recipient, even “mushrooms” in meaning like some atomic bomb.
So if you are looking for a good buzzword today, why don’t you go find whatever your “Chicago” is.