It's a no-brainer (easy conclusion): "Fuzz-words" (business jargon) can be hot potatoes (controversial). Some figure them quick and dirty (second-rate solutions), others use them to jawbone (persuade), still others consider them ear candy (flattering)-just don't let misuse or overuse cause any CLMs (career limiting moves).
Derived from such culture-defining arenas as sports, the military, politics and technology, fuzzwords have evolved into a specialized dialect that critics caution may backfire. In a nutshell, fuzzwords transform particular theories into catchy phrases or acronyms, generally misleading non-versed audience members.
How do you keep fuzz-words from becoming con-temptible mumbo-jumbo? Whether you're e-mailing a colleague or meeting with investors, the bottom line is not to assume your audience shares any understanding.
"The negative part of [fuzzwords] is they're exclusionary," says Davis Folsom, a marketing and economics professor at the University of South Carolina, Aiken, and a co-author of Understanding American Business Language: A Dictionary. "[But] if your audience knows what you're talking about, it can be a succinct way of conveying a message."
And by all means, make sure you know what you're talking about. "The purpose of such jargon is efficiency," says Folsom. "HTML is easier and quicker to say then Hyper Text Markup Language."
Alpha Geek: a firm's technology expert
Aunt Millie: derogatory term for an unsophisticated investor
Black Knight: bad guy; initiator of a hostile takeover
Blueshirts: IBM employees
Cross Sabers: to have conflict with
Cube Farm: sarcastic reference to an office organized into cubicles
Cybernate (to): control by computer
F2f: face to face
Five Nines: 99.999 percent accurate
Hot-Desking: the practice of workers sharing a pool of desks
Mushroom Job: derogatory reference to any distasteful work