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Branding Love

A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.


I have reread three books in the past few years: George Orwell’s (Eric Blair) 1984 and Lewis Carroll’s (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

George Orwell fascinates me on several accounts—his mastery of language, his prescience, and his outlook on politics. While I was faculty president, I gave copies of his book to people as a reminder of totalitarianism’s chilling threats and effects and the dangers of doublespeak. Though more playful, Lewis Carroll is also masterful with language and alerts us to the dangers of when illogic becomes the norm and when speech is misused and abused. I found my institution’s decision a few years ago to redefine the word “department” in our Carroll argot and the changing of our name from “college” to “university” Humpty-Dumpty-like. And the “buzzwords  and evolving (sometimes assaulting) lexicons creeping into our everyday discourse are painfully annoying, hinder communication, and add shades of gray to my beard. I am abuzz with buzzwords.


  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

Interestingly, 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 buzzword bingo for others.

I have to buzz the dog outside before buzzing a friend to see if he wants to play buzzword bingo tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll buzz over to Melibee to read some of their beautiful posts about global issues and making the world a better place.