Buzzword Watch: Where there is a "reactive" there shall be a "proactive" …


Buzzwords are like fashion statements. Wait, strike "like" from that sentence, Buzzwords ARE fashion statements. In my honest opinion - Buzzwords follow the same 3 laws that define fashion statements:


a) Both appear ubiquitously in usage. And - at the time of introduction - their meaning is unclear - though they "appear" cool.


b) Both have length of the "coolness" half-lives which are inversely proportional to the no. of people using it. i.e. The more the ppl who use the term, the quicker it becomes less cool.


c) Both have a loyal set of laggard-users who tend to overuse the buzzword/fashion well beyond its "coolness" extinction date.


An overbuzzed buzzword that has long since gone past the overdue "coolness" extinction date is known as a BPE, a Buzzword Past Extinction. "Proactive" is one such notorious example. "Proactive" by itself would not be a BPE but everytime Proactive is used in a sentence - you know that buzzword "reactive" will be used within the next 30 secs. That makes it a BPE. Here is an example:


"Yes. We will have to listen to the customer and align our development activities. We have to be proactive.... *Groan*... not reactive"


Notice how an ordinary sentence which till then gained the interest and curiosity of the conversation would upon introduction of a BPE now immediately die a quick death! Yes - BPEs are like viruses on the loose. Just like an outdated fashion statement.


But I have a cure. Each time you do come across a BPE moment think about a Mullet in a concert in the 2005. My introduction to mullets was at the Def Leppard concert i saw at Chicago last weekend - and a thought like that - immediately numbs the trauma of a BPE like novacaine in a dental surgery!


So next time you have a BPE moment... Do not be reactive.... Be ........

Comments (1)
  1. Joe Chung says:

    Buzzwords happen when people stop talking about details but still have to talk because someone who wouldn’t understand the details –customers, managers — wants to hear "something."

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