Branding Love
 
Three books that I have reread the past few years are George Orwell (Eric Blair)’s 1984 , Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. George Orwell (who was so prescient and who demonstrated such a mastery of language) and current dystopian speculative fiction such as Golden State fascinate me on a number of levels.

While I was faculty president, I gave copies of 1984 to a number of people to remind them of the chilling threats and effects of totalitarianism and of the dangers of doublespeak. Language matters.

Lewis Carroll, though more playful, also is masterful with language and with alerting us to the dangers of when illogic becomes the norm and when language is misused and abused. I find my institution’s decisions a few year’s ago to redefine by fiat the word “department” on our campus and the changing of our name from “college” to “university” Humpty-Dumpty-like. The “buzzwords”  and evolving (and sometimes assaulting or insulting) lexicons creeping into our everyday discourse painfully annoying. They often hinder communication and they definitely have added many shades of gray to my beard. I am abuzz with buzzwords.

What’s the Latest Campus Buzz: (Huh? Which Meaning?)

  1. hum
  2. murmur
  3. high
  4. bombination
  5. drone
  6. purr
  7. whirring
  8. sibilation
  9. hiss
  10. whiz
  11. sigh
  12. rustle
  13. sough
  14. rumor
  15. report
  16. gossip
  17. hearsay
  18. scuttlebutt
  19. scandal
  20. small talk
  21. chitchat
  22. fizzle
  23. sizzle
  24. Look here for more here: 

It is interesting how the “buzzwords” (e.g. transparency, branding, moving forward, engagement, buzz) have positive connotations for some professionals and create a need for a swear jar or playing buzz word bingo for others.

Gotta buzz the dog outside before buzzing a friend to see if he wants to play buzzword bingo tomorrow. Then I’ll study my handy 2019 Marketing BuzzWord list.