Colourizing our Language

For a variety reasons we love to colour our language with phrases and words the elevate the conversation we’re having, be it spoken or written.  There are some chestnuts that have been around for awhile and each year Webster and some other scoundrels introduce us to some new and fascinating opportunities to pepper our communications with lively new words.

We have all had perfect opportunities to employ some of these chestnuts rather than speaking plainly.  Here are a few that you may have embraced and spat out at some time or another.

Think outside the box….and since we’ve all been thinking outside the box it might be a novel idea to go back and think inside the box – we may find some gems that we’ve been ignoring for a while

On the runway….meaning something is imminent…. “your impending layoff is on the runway”.  Thanks anyway, I think I’ll stay at the side of the launch pad if you don’t mind.

Increasing bandwidth…this is a relatively new way of saying increasing your market share which was a fancy 80’s way of saying… sell more widgets.  I wonder how the widget market is doing these days?

Metrics….it sort of means details… “I don’t like the metrics of that proposal” … I guess since so many people don’t understand the “metric” system… they thought… well let’s just give that word a whole new meaning.

Synergy….this has been around awhile… when two companies merge to form a synergy… however we have yet to see the word morph into… synergetic or synergized…. Which is good.

Dovetail….two things meeting up and working together….. e.g. I love the way that new computer system dovetailed into our dial-up connection.

Offline….it’s something said in a meeting…. You tell someone that you’ll talk to them about that “offline” or after the meeting…. Of course the first couple of times you use it you will end up having to explain it so be prepared for that.  Better yet, don’t use it.

Brain dump…a transfer of information on a project from one person to another and not a reference to you leaving your best ideas at the local Haliburton landfill site

Going forward….which is something we should be doing because this bit is done.

And now Webster and other scurrilous sources offer these gems to tantalize our communication possibilities.

Cashtration. The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.  We’ve all lived in that house at one time or another.

Ignoranus.  A person who’s both stupid and a butthole.  Pardon my language.

Intaxicaton. Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.  Oh, how I love that feeling.  Too bad it’s a fake high.

Reintarnation. Coming back to life as a resident of Haliburton Highlands.

Bozone.  The substance surrounding dozy people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.  Entering it can happen almost unexpectedly.
Karmageddon.  It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

Dopeler Effect. The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.  I suffer from this almost daily, and some of then are of my own creation (I say with some embarrassment.)

Coffee. The person upon whom one coughs.  Aaargh!

Flabbergasted.  An adjective used when we are appalled by discovering how much weight we have gained.  A sad moment we experience each day in front of the mirror (don’t stand sideways.)

Abdicate. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.  I believe I did that at the turn of the century.

Esplanade. To attempt an explanation to the OPP while intoxicated.

Negligent.  Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.  If you live in Eagle Lake that’s not much of problem … it’s likely a bear knocking.

Testicle. A humorous question on an exam.  This is a rare breed in that most exams are humourless, unless you are like me and find it all very funny when you don’t know any of the answers.

While most of these sparkling examples add a little zest to a conversation they can’t replace the need for clarity and precision in the communications we share with others.  One of the joys we share is our ability to present ideas, respond to ideas presented, and achieve planned objectives when we “interface” with each other.  Ooops!

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Author: Mike Jaycock

Living life at Eagle Lake, Ontario, Canada. Broadcaster, Communication specialist, artist, actor and Master of Ceremonies for local events.

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