Microspeak: spend


Remember, Microspeak is not merely for jargon exclusive to Microsoft, but it's jargon you need to know.

We don't encounter the term spend much in the engineering side of the company, but it's in common use among those who regularly deal with money and budgets.

We are in line with company standards with regard to spend for this type of event.

Q4 spend will be higher as a result of widget recolorization.

Our corresponding spend will increase significantly if we adopt this proposal.

From the above citations, it is apparent that the word spend is shorthand for expenditure.

And then there's this citation:

I'll let you know what we have available with respect to spend.

So much for that theory. Here, spend means available budget.

My new theory is that spend is shorthand for spending.

This appears to be common use in business-speak:

IT Spend Report Shows Tougher Times Ahead

The spend is 15% more than the 100m T-Mobile allocated to marketing last year

Comments (15)
  1. Kirby FC says:

    The blue-screen articles were more interesting.

  2. Andreas Rejbrand says:

    I prefer the word 'hypothesis' since it is less ambiguous.

  3. Karellen says:

    To me it seems more like a nouning[0] than a shorthand, and is therefore tense-less[1][2] unlike the verb "to spend". Which is how it equally applies to an amount we are in the process of spending, or an amount spent, or an amount that is projected to be spent, etc...

    [0] If verbs can be nouned, then nouns - including "noun" itself - can surely be verbed. Right?

    [1] Like all nouns, with the possible exception of (ex-)parrot.

    [2] Tenseless? Atensical? Untensed? Anyone...?

  4. xpclient says:

    Microsoft keeps saying the spend for making a hotfix to disable Explorer auto sorting in Windows 7/8 is not justified. :(

  5. Rick C says:

    And right on cue, there's xpclient to bring his daily dose of negativity.

  6. Jim says:

    Spend, spend.. sounds very forceful just like we can spend. Expenditure sounds very timid, like we really want to save.

  7. DonH says:

    I always figured that "spend" was just "spending" as written by middle managers who never mastered the proper use of gerunds.

  8. JZ says:

    Another example usage: in Singapore, it's common to see advertisements on the street like "Get $10 off with $50 min spend."

  9. cheong00 says:

    @Jim: Spend is shorter than expenditure, so hopefully this change can save us a few seconds in every talk.

  10. Dave says:

    @Rick C: Whoosh! xpclient and auto-sorting is now legend enough that the feature has become a parody. I believe he was making a joke (which I quite liked) rather than actually being negative in this case.

  11. This type of usage is pretty much seen everywhere. First, there are the famous "buy" and "sell". Depending on the context, they could be "buying", "purchase" and "bought" plus "selling", "sale" and "sold". I also see a lot of "merge" everywhere when it actually means "merger".

  12. Rick C says:

    @Dave, it's possible, but if so, he should just drop it because it's actually pretty tedious at this point.

  13. xpclient says:

    I posted it as a joke. In case you haven't been following this blog, I sometimes try to use microspeak with the auto sorting example because this Explorer behavior still drives me mad and mixes up/scatters all my files.

    Joke apart, people are still frustrated by it: http://www.classicshell.net/.../viewtopic.php and ask in Microsoft's forums or Classic Shell's forum how to disable it. I just don't get it - what's the big deal about offering choice of a past feature. It's a reminder of Microsoft's unbelievable arrogance. That same arrogance in giving little choices - Start menu vs Start screen, Ribbon vs classic toolbars, that caused disasters like Vista or Windows 8 and resulted in company executives getting fired for not giving enough choice about OS behaviors. If anyone should "drop" anything, it's Microsoft who should drop their arrogance and immediately create a hotfix for Windows 8.1/8/7 and change the Windows 9 codebase as well to make auto sorting optional before another abominable OS ships and flops due to very poor and rude changes form the Windows Shell/UI team. And even if they really don't want an option in the GUI for this to not confuse novice users, there's no excuse for not at least making a Registry entry or Group Policy for it.

    [I don't want to hear you complaining about how late and bloated Windows is, then. All those options take time and space to implement. You seem to think that adding the feature back is a simple 5 lines of code. -Raymond]
  14. TMH says:

    After working at a major corporation 90% staffed by English as a Second Language (ESL) speakers it seems Microspeak/etc. is not corporate slang or shorthand but rather just butchered English. Previous major corporations I've worked at staffed primarily by native English speakers have none of this type of language.  This explains DonH's comment - these phrases are just never mastered by ESL speakers. We shouldn't be including them in our lexicon, in the same way we don't include invalid syntax in our code.

  15. Ens says:

    "Previous major corporations I've worked at staffed primarily by native English speakers have none of this type of language."

    I have a very difficult time believing this, because I absolutely have, and this isn't a recently identified phenomenon.

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