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Say What?

Nobody likes it when they don't know what you're talking about.

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This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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.

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