angry guyIn the past week or so, attending a bunch of in-person and phone meetings, I’ve heard a crateful of buzzwords. Buzzword overuse (low-hanging fruit, shifting paradigms, synergies, etc.) is bad enough, but when the terms aren’t even used correctly, my word-nerd hackles go up. To wit, here are a few examples.

Tactics and strategies are not equal.
Please don’t tell us you have a podcasting strategy. You are using podcasting as a tactic to execute your communications strategy so you can meet your goals. Or so we hope.

Big data is not the same as data.
Saying you’re going to measure your big data when you mean you’re going to check your social media stats just makes you look silly. Big data is a term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it’s difficult to process. Think of a retailer like Macy’s adjusting pricing in near-real time for tens of millions of items, based on customer behaviour. That’s using big data.

And while we’re at it, an amount and a rate are not the same.
I hear journalists make this mistake continually (not continuously). A rate is a quantity measured as a ratio, used to compare two different units. So, the price of coffee is not a rate.

Whew. I feel better now.

Which buzzwords have you seen abused this week?


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