Microspeak: Housing

The real estate department at Microsoft has their own weird jargon. In the real estate world, you don't "work" in a building; you are "housed" there. Here are a few citations.

The new buildings will be able to house N workers.

Employees housed at Facility X will be able to use temporary parking spaces being constructed at Location Y.

Comments (19)
  1. Bill says:

    If your housed there, do you have a bed? Sorry had to say it.. :)

  2. Michael says:

    Awesome.  Stopping just short of "warehousing."

  3. Michael says:

    Awesome.  Stopping just short of "warehousing."

  4. Brian says:

    That is a common term for what-it-describes. Many people outside MSFT use that.

    So as long as they don’t tell you that your car should be spaced at a temporary place, it’s sort of prior art.

  5. Joe says:

    Bill: I would assume developers are expected to just curl up under their desks when they’re ready to pass out.  ;-)

  6. Evan says:

    I’m a grad student, and tend to use the verb "live" to refer to my relation to the office. It’s a joke, but it’s a sad, sad joke.

  7. Mike Dunn says:

    At my company, facilities uses the verb "to sit" in odd ways. As in "Employees who sit in San Francisco will have free lunch today."

    "Where do you sit?" could mean "Which city do you work in?" or "Which building in that city?" or "Which office in that building?"

  8. Sohail says:

    Haha, they want you to live there. Housed is one synergistic phrase away from living!

  9. Mikkin says:

    Not really Microspeak, this is common usage.

  10. Xepol says:

    I think its industry speak, just like any industry does.  Sadly, industry speak tends to leak out into non-industry communications.

    Thank the gods we don’t do that with computers huh?

  11. Scott says:

    Microsoft is using letters for the buildings now? I thought they were all numbers!  ;)

  12. Kemp says:

    Pretty standard here too, it doesn’t even need to refer to people: "This building houses 10 of our new death ray generators".

  13. Cooney says:

    There should be a Building X…

    Is that where the sekrit projects are? Maybe it’s the domain of the Xbox devs…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Kemp: I think it comes from that usage, which is the problem.  Housing applies to objects, not people.  It sounds nicer than "containing" and avoids the awkward "workers who work in Building X".

    Scott: X *is* a number!

    There should be a Building X…

  15. Mark says:

    Main Entry:

       2 house





    Inflected Form(s):

       housed; hous·ing


       before 12th century

    transitive verb 1 a: to provide with living quarters or shelter b: to store in a house 2: to encase, enclose, or shelter as if by putting in a house 3: to serve as a shelter or container for : contain <buildings that house government offices> intransitive verb: to take shelter : lodge

  16. Anonymous says:

    How does quoting the dictionary help here?

  17. "Microsoft is using letters for the buildings now? I thought they were all numbers!"

    With apologies to the Simpsons…

    "Microsoft is so rich, they spell everything with letters these days."

  18. Rhys says:

    My wife is a hairdresser, and she’s introduced me to an interesting bit of terminology: she has a ‘section’ in the shop, which has the usual mirrors, chair, and so on.  Hairdressers refer to the chair as where they ‘sit’, even though they never sit in the chair.  So, for instance, my wife ‘sits’ in the first chair on the right as you go in, but she’s never actually sat in the chair!

  19. Walter says:

    When I worked for really big company I saw a sign in the cafeteria once that started "Dear residents…"

    I found it infinitely depressing for some reason.

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