Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh yeah, *your* head is Orthogonal too!

I noticed that several words become trendy in the office lexicon and catch fire. Everyone from Junior Woodchuck Billy the Intern to VP of Life-or-Death start using these words in their watercooler conversations and presentations. This month's Hot Words: Orthogonal and Gestalt.

Most of the word fashion leaders use the words correctly, but as time goes on, office barbarians start picking up the words and proceed to butcher them.

"Hey you clumsy oaf! The damn chassis is orthogonal now -- we'll have to sell it as a refurb!"
"Oh, I sit directly orthogonal to where Bill's office is"
"Those marketing people are so dang tight fisted; they're like the Money Gestalt."
"I'm feeling a bit gestalt from the chicken; mind if I take the afternoon off?"
(Achoo!) "Gestalt! Now wipe off your monitor"


Marika said...

Geez, you guys are so much more evolved than us. The dudes at my office have rediscovered 'synergy' - not only have they given up on adopting any new buzz words, they're actually recycling old ones. My entire office now sounds exactly like it would have in any random day in 1992.

Anonymous said...

Actually "orthogonal" is a recycled one as well. Was used a lot at HP in the '80s. Most often to note that the discussion had veered way off topic.

Syl said...

Did orthogonal every go away? It's always been top 50. Maybe it moved up to top 5.

Meanwhile, back at the Santa Cruz ranch, my company uses quanitisms like "threw me under the bus" and "day in the life" and "big stones" -- all of which have expanded, coded meanings that I still don't quite get. And no, "big stones" doesn't refer to anatomy.

Jamie Beck said...

My new fave that I've been hearing around the airwaves (conference calls) is "bring to bear." So.... is this supposed to conjure up images of someone bringing it to the bear? I can just see some suit-type dangling a handful of powerpoint slides over some grizzly's head. Skunkworks abound!!

Anonymous said...

The other day, a colleague of mine was reminded he forgot to do something. In his "oh shit!" response, he combined the well known phrases "slipped my mind" and "fell through the cracks" to lament "oh, it slipped through my cracks".

Obviously I had great difficulty in holding back my "bwah ha ha ha!" into a "he he he, don't ever say that again!"; but, surprisingly, he didn't even notice what he had just said. :-)

Heather G said...

So, do tell. Who is the VP of Life of Death? I am so out of it these days.


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