As a tribute to Buzzfeed's "Misused and Made Up Words" post earlier today (note at this current date, the Buzzfeed post I speak of was in actual time, roughly a month ago) on the ridiculousness of fake words, I found it only fair that I do my own take on the snark-infested grammatical post. So here you have it, "Made Up Media Words". I cannot fairly say these are truly misused, however, since, you know, us media folk have an uncanny ability to strategically throw around media jargon in a way that makes total fucking perfect sense. It's all about the leveraging, right? Note while reading below - I am the most guilty party when it comes to employing said phrases / words in daily media conversation. And I'm only going to cite a few, for citing them all would take up much too much time that I could be better using to, you know, leverage. That said, here we go...
- Leverage. The perfect first one. While leverage is a word in actuality, the contexts in which media folk choose to employ this fantastically versatile word are rarely if ever grammatically sound. Example: Leverage efficiencies. Hmmm, can one really do that?
- Learnings. Just an all-time classic. Merriam Webster says no plural form of this word exists. But it sure does in media! I love leveraging learnings.
- Deck. Well, this isn't really jargon so much as a term that a lot of us business folk use. The use of this lovely little word in media does not refer to the wooden outdoor portion of a house but rather a PowerPoint presentation of highly important material of course. A short "deck" is referred to as a "decklette". I have always had a particular soft spot in my heart for that little word. Decklette - it sounds so precious doesn't it?
- "As talked." Again, not technically jargon but rather two small words put together into one concise little phrase. While concise, the phrase carries so much meaning. Example: "As talked, please revise the deck ASAP and re-send." Anything prefaced with "as talked" means you should already remember and know what I am about to say prior to me saying it and if you don't, well, epic fail for making me remind you.
- Circle back. An absolute classic. Circling back refers to getting back to some party at a later point in time. Oftentimes, the use of the circle back indicates someone a) not knowing an answer to a question and employing said euphemism versus the more common "I don't know" or b) needing to confer with one's boss before being able to utter a word with confidence or c) just desiring to use a media phrase to end a phone call. Any of these occasions are appropriate context for the circle back.
- Align. Hands down my personal favorite. So much so, in fact, that I have extended the use of "align" and "aligned" and "aligning" from my professional sphere well into my personal one. To align is to agree, to get approval from clients, bosses, vendors, or anyone really. To receive alignment is also to get a go-ahead from anyone who is a higher level than you. Getting alignment is like receiving a cold Evian in the desert. It's the cherry on top of the gross frosting of life. Aligning and being aligned in personal life carries essentially the same meaning as in business life. Example 1: "Let's go to the bar." "Aligned." Example 2: "Breaking Bad is the best show ever." "I'm in total alignment." K? We aligned on this?
- In the loop. While this may be a common one in all industries and walks of life, it seems particularly so in the marvelous maze of media. It is essential that everyone everwhere be in the loop on everything all of the time.
- And now, the perfect one to end on... "Great thanks!" I particularly enjoy observing the overuse of these two words, no matter the context. Whether the meaning of an email be fantastic, good, neutral, bad or absolutely fucking horrible, roughly half of the goodbye salutations in my inbox on a daily basis are inevitably, "Great thanks! followed by name of sender". While some emails may indeed convey a positive message and warrant an overjoyed sentiment as close-out, certainly not all do so. Example 1: "You guys really missed the ball on this one. Total fail. Sales have plummeted. Great, thanks!" Example 2: "We know lunch was supposed to be in half hour and you ordered $500 worth of food but unfortunately something came up and we can no longer make it. Great thanks!" Example 3: Vendor: "We really undelivered on your campaign and have nothing to offer as makegood. We really look forward to working together next year, though. Great thanks!" Note none of the aforementioned examples cite anything that in any way warrant a positive sign-off. Henceforth, the unbelievableness of the use of these two little words. #neverendingamusement
And, that about wraps it up for now. Check back for Made Up Media Words Take 2 in the coming days. Until then, kids, work on those next steps and reach out with questions. Best regards!!