Buzz words are really taking their lumps these days. An article in the Kansas City Star this weekend basically said that they send the wrong message (http://www.brw.com.au/p/sections/the_business_end/buzzwords_send_the_wrong_message_L1WVqDhAzg4vIzxM0x21PI) and gives several cases. The CBC Radio show Babel http://www.cbc.ca/babel  will be presenting a program on the words that will be infiltrating our lexicon – most of which will probably be buzz words.  

Buzz words, as I see them, enter into the jargon of a particular profession then work their way into general use. For example, over the past couple of decades I spent in one social work field or the other had a variety of them.  For example, here are a few that I’ve spotted.

  • Can you think outside or the box?  (I never found the box – unless you’re offering a cubicle)
  • What do you bring to the table? (I never eat at interviews – unless the interviewer is buying.)
  • We’re all in this together! (Anticipate low pay.)
  • Can you be proactive? (Can I settle for just active? On the second thought, maybe not. I’m so inactive my self-winding watch often runs down.)
  • Bulletize this report so I can have time to read it. (No comment.)

I’m getting a little worried about learning a new set of buzz words that I’ll probably need to learn if things go as planned. Last week I had an interview for a position as a recruiter. It is an executive position as a recruiter – a job I’ve either done for years or I’ve never done before. I will be finding employers and matching the employers with employees. I’ve done that before, but I’ve never done it in a manner that would pay a bonus for a successful match.

This means there will probably be a whole slough of words and phrases that are industry specific. I have been reading about the position and the work by following industry specific newsgroups and LinkedIn groups, and the buzz words seem to mean the same thing as those of job developers – I think

But who knows. Executives usually don’t ask for or need cheat sheets for buzz words. I’ll have  to spend the first few months on the job on my toes, as the job is really a sales position, and sales has all kinds of buzz words:

  • Long tail
  • Roll over
  • Line those pigeons up and milk them

And as Stan Freeburg used to proclaim, “Lets run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes.”

I shouldn’t complain. A few decades ago when I was a world famous archaeologist,  there  were buzz words. Most people know that archaeologists spend a lot of time thinking about, digging up, measuring, identifying and describing artifacts. When an archaeologist finds an artifact, a process is begun where the provenience, the material, the measurement the relative humidity, the date found, and the archaeologist’s shoe size are recorded on an artifact sheet. The process is called artifacting, where the noun ‘artifact’ is changed to a verb – to ‘artifact.’

I artifact, he/she artifacts, we artifact, and they artifact. If the site director artifacts, we say, “It artifacts.”

I shouldn’t worry about it, though. I threw two of my own buzz word into the lexicon.

The first came from a property owner who came into my office with a human skull that he found while digging a swimming pool.  “Do you think this is a repticle?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “It’s definitely not a repticle.”

After that, anyone who discovers and artifact to artifact gets the opportunity to yell, “REPTICLE!” to break the monotony and explain to the rest of the crew that he or she will be spending the next hour artifacting.

The second buzz word happened at the archaeological site at Crescent Beach in British Columbia. It was a midden site, and we screened all the deposits through 2mm mesh, meaning we pumped seawater through the screens and saved the remaining slurry of archaeological deposits for laboratory analysis. When a full wet dripping screen was ready for bagging, the screener would yell “WET DRIPPER!”

For me, buzz words meant I had the more exciting sites.

Mike Broderick WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he FOUND employment for people with physical disabilities.
He remains an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at
michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105
If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates .
Apparently 22% of companies in the Greater Vancouver area will be hiring within the next month. Get your resumes ready.



  1. Sharon Says:

    Mmmmm???? Wet Dripper sounds like the guy stumbling out of the ocean after the Polar Bear Plunge. You’ll pick up the jargon and the acronyms. When will you hear about the job? Fingers are still crossed for you. Believe me, that makes putting on my socks a big deal.

  2. RussellTwyce Says:

    I REALLY want the experience of Pidgeon Milker on my next resume.

  3. mikebroderick Says:

    Pigeons, according to a Micky Mouse Club TV show in the 50s, actually have a milk gland on their cheeks that the little pitneys peck at and mom produces milk. I suppose you had to be there. To have that on yor resume, you would need to peck the pigeon to produce tehe prize – then lick it up.

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