Banishing the Buzz

Unsuck It, a new buzzword dictionary making some buzz on the Internet, claims to "unsuck" pretentious business jargon into normal English. The online lexicon contains some apt entries of inflated buzzwords that indeed need to have hot air sucked out.For example, a team player is translated as "helpful employee," a go-forward plan is just a "plan," and the word synergy is unsucked to mean simply "working together." Computer jockeys who self-importantly claim to be ninjas, rockstars, or wizards are demoted to "adequate programmers." The list contains some new-fangled terms that I hadn't known existed, including timebox, upskill, and adverteasing. Other terms that I had heard before, but perhaps wish I hadn't, are mindshare, ping me, and ideation.

At the same time, Unsuck It doesn't always hit its target. Skin a cat, drop the ball, and drink the Kool-Aid are unsucked on the site, but they are perfectly ordinary English idioms. And I wouldn't consider brainstorm or ubiquitous to be buzzwords. They’re just words.

Still, the greater cause of Unsuck It, to discourage the use of inflated jargon, should be supported. Ironically, if the website becomes popular, unsuck may end up becoming a buzzword that itself needs unsucking.