20 Dec 2016
Buzzwords

I’ll Give You a Buzz in 2017

Buzzwords. We all know them, we all sneer at them, we all want to lay them to rest forever.

Luckily for you, this blog is going to be a game changer. It’s going to be sticky, it’s going to proactively leverage business verbiage, and it’s going to go viral… strategically.*

I’ve lost 80 per cent of readers already, haven’t I?

Working in the ‘business world’, more specifically the communications and tech realm, I encounter an awful number of buzzwords and phrases. They’re in my inbox (“going forward”), meetings (“we’ve got to bite the bullet”), and even more frighteningly, at the water cooler (“let’s circle back when we’re at our desks”).

But nobody is immune. In 2016, if you weren’t too preoccupied with “adulting” (*sigh*), you were probably hearing the following words and terms ad nauseum.

Fake news:

A late entry that just made the cut, this gained real prominence in 2016 with Facebook’s content controversies. Fake news is exactly what it sounds like; hearsay or propaganda masquerading as credible information. In 2016, the line between reality and fantasy blurred like never before, and fake news was just one by-product of this.

Post-truth:

I couldn’t ignore the word of the year, now could I? According to the editors of Oxford Dictionaries, the term grew 2,000 per cent in 2016. So what does it mean? Similar to fake news, post-truth can be put down to the blurring fantasy-reality line. It means that appeals to emotion are more successful in shaping public opinion than objective facts.

Democracy sausage:

Closer to home, the Australian National Dictionary Centre has deemed this Australia’s Word (ahem, phrase) of the Year for 2016, and if this isn’t the most Australian thing ever, I don’t know what is. The government really pushed for it with “jobs and growth”, but nothing was quite as sticky (I’ll show myself the door) as democracy sausage. Though I’m more of a democracy tofu girl, myself.

Trumped/trumpery/trumpet:

Who knew ‘trump’ was in so many regular, everyday words? Turns out the whole world did in the days and weeks following the US presidential election result. “Trumped up market forecasts”, “Don’t trumpet Trump”, “Trumping the IT industry”. We get it, the word ‘trump’ is easily manipulated into convenient verbs and adjectives for your headlines. Now stop.

Hashtag:

The word has been around for forever in internet years, but it was the spoken/written-in-full hashtag that really had its moment this year. Best paired with the word “content” for the deliciousness that is “hashtag content”. It started being used ironically towards the second half of 2016, which remains… just as inexcusable.

So what lies ahead for 2017? What will our colleagues and “industry experts” be repeating January through March, and rolling their eyes at come August? Let’s look into the Magic 8 Ball, shall we?

Intrapreneur:

Google tells me this word already exists and it means acting like an entrepreneur… internally. I know right, who’da thunk it? It’s about promoting innovation and risk-taking to your employees, and you’re all lying if you can’t see this becoming a big thing in 2017.

Clicktivism:

Like hacktivism and slacktivism, but with clicks. It means using the internet, and specifically, social media, to advance one’s social cause. As opposed to using it to tweet your colleagues’ hilarious quotes, which definitely isn’t the approach I take… Beware of the Twitterati in 2017, folks.

Practivation:

Like hacktivation but practical. It’s activation with key takeaways. Think hands-on, tangible, experiential activation. You know what I’m talking about.

Keybored:

szfjusehgisgsrkghisdeuqmaiuq. That’s keybored, in essence.

Wet wipes:

This is the suggestion I received from our design lead for his 2017 buzzword prediction. Obviously, this one’s going to take off. #WetWipes2017

Our world is awash with overused words and phrases, even ‘buzzword’ is now surely a buzzword. But I’m afraid I’m done. I have nothing left to spitball, nothing left to hack. If you’d like to join me on the anti-buzzword bandwagon in 2017, hop on board and let’s practivate.

What are your predictions for 2017 buzzwords? Touch base in the comments below.

* Though perhaps not on the scale of my colleague, whose recent blog on the pitfalls of having a stupid LinkedIn photo has catapulted him to the dizzying heights of viral fame not witnessed since Harambe (Look, I had to get one more 2016 buzzword in there. I promise I’m done.)

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