The 18 most abused phrases of 2009
Ian Lurie Dec 14 2009
Shoutout to LyndiT for pushing me to write this via Twitter.
The year’s not even over but we’ve already beaten the crap out of so many phrases I figured I’d better get started. So, in no particular order, here they are:
- Engagement. Marketing isn’t combat, or marriage. Stop trying to tell me I need to propose to every single potential customer who comes to my site.
- Twitterverse. Just. Don’t. Say. It.
- Tweeple. You KNOW you’ve got a winning media platform when you can generate two hated terms in the same year.
- New media. Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME? This term is back again? Bury it. Forever.
- Social media. So prevalent that I have to use it in training and sales presentations, even though mouthing the phrase sends jolts of nausea through me.
- Tiger Woods. Ah, crap. I just said it.
- Change. No political agenda here – totally behind Obama. But for all the other millions of wannabe politicians, writers, gurus, experts, authors and whatever: I swear I will tune up your car with a claw hammer if you use the term again.
- Guru. Actually, it’s OK if someone else calls you a guru. But when you call yourself a guru, you fail on a scale not seen since “read my lips: no new taxes”. You’re crowning yourself a genius. It’s artificial, and it stinks.
- Acai Berry. Will no more help you lose weight than a Kit Kat. You have to get off your ass and start eating healthy food. Maybe walk around a little.
- Crowdsourcing. Also known as stupidsourcing. You get to replicate your mistakes a thousandfold via tons of people who have no zero accountability. Actually, I kinda like the concept. But it terrifies me, too. Sort of like nanotechnology: Cool but likely to wipe us all out in Crichton-esque fashion.
- Twilight. Yes, the series of books and movies is now a phrase to me. It represents the destruction of every cool vampire mythology ever created. Bram Stoker is going to rise from his grave and start devouring the entire cast.
- Green. Green factories. Green toilet paper. Green TV sets. This color is now splashed across every thing we consume. That’s supposed to help us ignore the fact that all this ‘green’ stuff is being built by contaminated underpaid workers 1000s of miles away. See – we’re greener. Didn’t say anything about anyone else.
- ROI. Oh God. Spare me. Even I’ve beaten this one to death. Why do we have to tell people what we’re doing will help you make money? How is that even a question?
- Web 3.0. I will slice out your tongue with an infectious plastic spork.
- SEO expert. I think this is more a translation problem. In some other language, it seems to mean “I built a web site in Dreamweaver, and know how to use SubmitEase.” Like guru, above, it only seems to go horribly wrong when people apply it to themselves.
- Content marketing. Another translation problem. Seems to mean “Write drivel. Publish to my site. Repeat.”
- Conversation. Dammit, I stole this from the ClueTrain Manifesto first. The rest of you slackers quit copying my theft.
- Free. “Free” is not the new “money”! Don’t believe me? Go to McDonalds and try to buy a burger with a blog post. It doesn’t work.
K, let me have it – what’d I miss?
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Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More