Strange Updated Office Jargon
Strange Updated Office Jargon
Here are some modern jargon examples, supposedly from the book "Jargon Watch", published by Wired magazine. I have gotten slightly different sets of these at least 6 times. This is a combination.
The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."
The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
A fake grass-roots political campaign. Posted in RISKS Digest as a potential future problem in net-based "issue" campaigning, in which massive phony mailings are easier than ever. (see Microsoft's PR attempt at this early in the monopoly court case. They were going to pay columnists and others to write for a country-wide, pro-MS 'grass-roots' campaign... got caught at it though, how embarrassing)
Web page designed to capitalize on a current trend (such as Barney-bashing). "Have you seen the new O.J. Simpson Barney page?"
Putting up an emotional shield just as a relationship enters that intimate, vulnerable stage. Refers to the retractable armor covering the Batmobile.
The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.
Techie euphemism for using the toilet.
(alternative to mukraking) - A new form of Net-based investigative journalism. Becoming very popular with as journalists from major magazines and dailies troll the Net fishing for breaking stories.
Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.
Blowing your buffer:
Losing one's train of thought. Occurs when the person you're speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. "Damn, I just blew my buffer!"
Hard-core exercise and weight-lifting fanatics who look down on anyone who doesn't work out excessively.
A unit of stupidity. "Is it just me, or is there always a high bozon count in Rupert's posts?"
A byproduct of a bloated mind producing information effortlessly. A burst of useful information. "I know you're busy on the Microsoft story, but can you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative connotations.
When computer users get together and discuss things that noncomputer users don't understand. When the byte-bonded start playing on a computer during a noncomputer-related social event, they are "geeking out."
A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.
An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with
Chips and Salsa:
Chips = hardware, salsa = software. "Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem's in your chips or your salsa."
A section of computer code that is forever being rewritten or changed. Also can describe text documents. Writings produced by committee are rife with churn.
Circling the Drain:
Medical term for a patient near death who refuses to give up the ghost. Used generally to describe projects that have no more life in them but refuse to die. "That disk conversion project has been circling the drain for years."
CLM (Career-Limiting Move):
Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.
A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead web page.
A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I just wasted 10 minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"
An unstable stage in a software project's life when any single change or bug fix can result in two or more new bugs. Continued development at this stage leads to an exponential increase in the number of bugs.
Surreptitious flatulence while passing thru a cube farm, or any other public place, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust this often leads to PRAIRIE DOGGING.
AOL cybercop-speak for an immature user who posts vulgarity in a public forum. "You've got a cusskiddie in the SNES versus Genesis folder."
An office filled with cubicles.
Little animated GIFs and other Web F/X that are useless and serve simply to impress clients. "This page is kinda dull. Maybe a little dancing baloney will help."
A corporate euphemism for laying off workers.
Dead Tree Edition:
The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."
Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voice mail of a Vice President at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of a deinstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance. (See also "Decruitment."and "Decommissioned")
Fear associated with entering a Home Depot because of how much money one might spend. Electronics geeks experience Shackophobia.
To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."
People who are in perfect alignment on an issue, am idea, or a belief system. Allegedly coined by Rush Limbaugh to refer to his legion of faithful followers.
Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web and now I've got a bad case of
scanning the Net, databases, print media, and so on, looking for references to one's own name.
the peak year of something's popularity -- Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993.
Acronym for Empty Magnanimous Gesture. As in: "We think your idea is great and would love to fund it, but [insert excuse here]."
Mock HTML tags (, ) used in WWW-related e-mail and newsgroups in place of ASCII emoticons. "Someone tell that jerk to shut up, I'm sick of his vapid whining!."
People who compulsively work out after eating and gauge their workout by how many calories they need to burn off to remove the food they just ate. "Only 2,000 more minutes on the StairMaster to burn off that cherry pie."
the excessive and self-congratulatory use of useless animation, usually on a web site.
Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company or department soon.
A gruesome job of editing a writer's work by a hurried editor. The frankenedited piece is usually returned with a note asking the writer to suture it back together and to breath life back into it (by the next morning).
Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions. "We were so lost in generica, I actually forgot what city we were in."
Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"
Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing it. Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.
A "Get-Out-Of-Debt" job. A well-paying job people take in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they are solvent again.
The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across the screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."
Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.
Perpetual BBS discussions that never die, the arguments never change, and no one's opinions ever budge one iota. Holy wars are fought over abortion, gun control, Mac versus PC, Windows versus DOS, whether it's ok to spank children, and how much nudity to allow in the image areas of online services.
Net acronym for In My Never Even Remotely Humble Opinion. Variant form of IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) and IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion).
people who always seem to have their idea generators running.
Used to describe someone who moves through the a workday responding to a series of interruptions rather than the work goals originally set.
Making things because you can. "Why did you make MS-DOS?" "Because I could."
Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. Examples include the O.J. trials, Ally McBeal, Monica Lewinsky, and Bill Clinton's Grand Jury testimony.
It's a Feature:
From the adage "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Used sarcastically to describe an unpleasant experience that you wish to gloss over.
An official-sounding computer feature that can be used to prank a salesperson or a computer know-it-all. "Does this system come with LRF support?" (LRF stands for Little Rubber Feet.)
The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."
Midair Passenger Exchange:
Grim air-traffic-controller-speak for a head-on collision. Midair passenger exchanges are quickly followed by "aluminum rain."
The on-line, wired generation's answer to the Couch Potato.
NIMQ (pronounced "nihm-kyoo"):
Acronym for "Not in My Queue." Said in response to suggestions to take on additional tasks or projects when you're already overwhelmed. Similar to the more common "It's not my job."
Non-Linear Behavior or NLB:
(from Chaos Theory) - Used to describe emotional or irrational flaming on the Net. "That gun-control topic is overwhelmed by NLB."
(No Response Necessary) - A proposed e-mail conversation to prevent endless back-and-forth acknowledgements: "Thanks for the info." "You're welcome ... hope it helps." "I hope so too. Thanks." By putting NRN at the bottom of your mail, you absolve the reader from having to reply, thus saving precious e-mail time.
Nickname for AOL's less-than-full-featured Web browser.
that minuscule fraction of time in which you realize you've just made a big mistake.
People who work at home or telecommute.
Indoor pay-to-play kid parks such as Discovery Zone. Substitute for the now mostly extinct public playgrounds that previous generations used for free.
Tech support shorthand for "Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard." (Techies are a frustrated, often arrogant lot. They've submitted numerous acronyms and terms that poke fun at the clueless users who call them up with frighteningly stupid questions. Another variation on the above is ID10T: "This guy has an ID-Ten-T on his system.")
The fine art of whacking the crud out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
To quit unexpectedly, as in "my cellular phone just perot'ed."
Computer user with the uncanny ability to screw things up so bad that either the damage is irrevocable or restoring from the last back-up is the only hope.
When someone yells or drops something loudly in a "cube farm" (an office full of cubicles) and everyone's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.
A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, "poops" over everything and then leaves.
A deluge of private chat messages while one is trying to do something else online. "Sorry, I'm currently the victim of a send storm. I'll be with you in a moment." On AOL, this is called "being IMed to death" (IM stands for Instant Message, AOL's private chat feature).
Stands for Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
Another word for a computer. The victim of a square-headed girlfriend is a "computer widow."
Squirt The Bird:
To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and talent are ready. What time do we squirt the bird?"
A short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.
a person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny.
An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
Telephone Number Salary:
A salary (or project budget) that has seven digits.
Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.
People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had about three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."
A sexual relation of dubious standing. "This is Dale, my...um...friend..."
Under Mouse Arrest:
Getting busted for violating an on-line service's rule of conduct. "Sorry I couldn't get back to you. AOL put me under mouse arrest."
Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail of a vice president at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of an uninstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance." See also Decruitment.
A company that buys components from other companies and puts them together in a system that's less than the sum of its parts. Opposite of value-added reseller.
Vulcan Nerve Pinch:
The taxing hand position required to reach all of the appropriate keys for certain commands. For instance, the warm boot for a Mac II involves simultaneously pressing the Control key, the Command key, the Return key and the Power On key.
Well Off Older Folks
World Wide Wait:
The real meaning of WWW
Euphenism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.
Yuppie Food Stamps:
The ubiquitous $20 bills spewed out of ATMs everywhere. Often used when trying to split the bill after a meal: "We all owe $8 each, but all anybody's got is yuppie food stamps."
Someone who is clueless, from the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found", meaning the requested document couldn't be located -- Don't bother asking him, he's 404.
If these don't help you figure out what the heck your co-worker just said (or meant), you might try the Dictionary of Management Jargon, Jargon Watch or PseudoDictionary.