July 22nd, 2004

Buzzwords That Dumb People Use to Sound Important

Peter Merholz points to two essays: ROI Is Not a Silver Bullet: Five Actionable Steps for Valuing User Experience Design and Leveraging Business Value: How ROI Changes User Experience, which I have not read, and don't plan to, because the first uses "actionable" and the second uses "leveraging" in the titles of the reports! They are both meaningless buzzwords, and the Simpsons made fun of this (already) in the Poochie episode (yes, the "Worst Episode Ever" episode). In a meeting with the writers, Roger Myers is talking with Krusty the Clown and a network exec ("Lady"). George Meyer is a writer on the Itchy & Scratchy show, which is plumetting in the ratings:

Lady: We at the network want a dog with attitude. He's edgy, he's "in your face." You've heard the expression "let's get busy"? Well, this is a dog who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.
Krusty: So he's proactive, huh?
Lady: Oh, God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.
Meyer: Excuse me, but "proactive" and "paradigm"? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?
[backpedaling] Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that.
[pause] I'm fired, aren't I?
Myers: Oh, yes.