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Buzzword

From Academic Kids

A buzzword (also known as a fashion word) is an idiom, often a neologism, commonly used in technical, administrative, and sometimes political environments. Buzzwords appear ubiquitously but their actual meanings often remain unclear.

Buzzwords are typically intended to create the impression of knowledge for a wide audience. They tend to be non-controversial and universal.

Buzzwords differ from jargon in that they have the function of impressing or of obscuring meaning, while jargon (ideally) has a well-defined technical meaning, if only to specialists. However, the hype surrounding new technologies often turns technical terms into buzzwords (see Buzzword compliant).

A buzzword may or may not appear in a dictionary, and if it does, its meaning as a buzzword may not match the conventional definition.

Contents

Reasons for using buzzwords

A generous view allows that buzzwords have the same function as jargon in scientific disciplines: newly-minted terms to describe new concepts, without the danger of over-simplification and confusion that can arise from using words and phrases with previously established, commonplace meanings.

Buzzwords can also function to control thought by being intentionally vague. In management, stating organizational goals by using words with unclear meanings prevents anybody from questioning the directions and intentions of these decisions, especially if many such words are used. (See also newspeak, Machiavelli.)

Eventually a buzzword will become old and lose its effect and will be known as a Wank word.

A less cynical interpretation might claim that the intentionally vague phrase may boost individual thinking and creativity by deliberately raising questions.

Examples

See also

External links

nl:Buzzwoord pl:Buzzword sv:Buzzword

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