Toolkit and confessions
We want to empower you, to facilitate the end-user experience so you can move on. To do this you will need a quality tool kit/belt type scenario.
Dropping into unconsciousness at jargon-filled meetings?
Download Buzzword Bingo.
Want to know how easy it is to write managerial language? Don Callahan has kindly sent us a copy of his Ready Reckoner.
Download Ready Reckoner.
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song: barefoot on the grass roots
'Segmentalise your pitface,
get your network on the ground.
Plug in your resource-bank,
integrate it all around...'
Read more of Sandy Halley's song, written in 1978.
'Now there's a website and software tool that exposes news spin and bias, misuse of sources, and suspect factual support. At SpinSpotter, you'll experience the news in a profound new way. Yes, the truth is back in town.' Spinspotter
The Web Economy Bullshit Generator Thanks to Rick Teh and Don Callahan.
Michael Churchman sent us a copy of his 'guff bingo' which he plays 'during jargon-filled academic papers'.
Thanks to Justin Stewart for an updated Buzzword Bingo
Want to come up with a phrase like 'Substantially Functional Paradigm Simulation'. Visit BuzzPhraser [thanks to Charles Roth]
Bullfighter is the epoch-defining software that works with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to help you find and eliminate jargon in your documents. [thanks to David Annetts]
Mission Statement Generator at the Dilbert site Dilbert Creator Fools Executives 'It's a crazy story of weasels (and cartoonists) run amuk: Scott Adams, the famous Dilbert cartoonist, posed as a management consultant and got a room full of managers to produce utter gibberish.' (thanks to Jean McGuire)
Corporate Gibberish Generator Enter your company name and click "Generate" to generate several paragraphs of corporate gibberish suitable for pasting into your prospectus. (The gibberish is geared more toward Internet and technology companies.)
Hello, my name is Barry Carter and Im a weaselwordholic.
I guess it all started when I was a manager in the public service. At first it was only the soft stuff, like the odd restructure or client service charter. There just didnt seem to be any harm in it and everyone was doing it anyway. Before I knew it I had moved on to transparent processes, key drivers and then the hard stuff like balanced scorecards. By the end of the year I was dropping 4 or 5 caps of focus groups and corporate memory every day.
My staff began to shun me as my coherence diminished and I took to shuffling through the corridors of power, prostituting myself to get my next fix. This came at a terrible price. I was introduced to crack complexity resolution and was soon freebasing change management and process re-engineering. I was on a highway to hell without a key performance indicator to guide me.
One day, at a team strategy meeting, I noticed that all my staff appeared more attentive than usual and were making notes on pieces of paper in front of them. Some broke out into broad smiles as I spoke of our future directions. Then one shouted Bingo and held aloft his piece of paper. When they explained the way that Wank Words Bingo worked, I knew I had a problem.
I had a complete breakdown shortly after this and I was taken from my office babbling I need to migrate from this model of challenging behaviour but I cant leverage a sustainable exit strategy. After many months of intensive therapy, which was largely free of negative patient outcomes, (other than the day the psychologist pulled a gun on me), I was able to rejoin society and begin to rebuild my life.
I've been clean now for almost three years, but every time I hear weasel words I feel those cravings deep inside. Sure, the Plain English Program the government put me on helps, but the withdrawal pains keep gnawing away. Every day I could gladly snort a couple of lines of action planning or stakeholder leveraging and end up right back in the gutter. This stuff is that dangerous! Please, keep up your good work as I dont want any of our kids to end up like me.
Vale Barry Carter
We were truly saddened to learn of the death of Barry Carter.
Barry wrote the wonderful 'Confession of a weaselwordholic' which was included in the 2006 Weasel Words Diary
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'I'm a graduate architect with a Masters degree and 6.5 years of teriary education and I would like to confess. I caught myself red-handed....
"[the] School was in a strong position to engage with briefing issues....[which in turn made it] easier to recognise ‘non-negotiable’ issues and constraints"
...and I'm sticking to it, because it is in a language my reader will think they understand!! I feel like a fraud!'
Sarah from St Kilda
'In reading many of the submissions on your site I began to wonder where I may have been guilty of this in my own life.
I realized I have indeed been guilty of using this kind of language. I'd like to abandon this practice entirely (after previewing this, the word 'entirely' replaced 'wholesale'). "sigh" Alas, I cannot. I've found that using it sparingly causes those who adore this language to throw money at me. The following are examples of my transgressions, from my own resume, along with translation.
"Provide maximum availability of departmental user data" - Making sure people can get their stuff.
"Provide reporting process troubleshooting and resolution via established procedures and/or programmer notification and coordination." - Fixing broken stuff and calling for help when I can't.
For years I've avoided phrases like 'Soul searching', 'Touch Base' and 'Outside the Box', but you've enlightened me to the true extent of the problem. Thank you for your intervention. - Chad
'In the olden days, when I was an academic and we were restructured at least annually, I wrote many submissions,mission statements etc. in the expected language. Why didn't I write them in English?' - Robert Newton
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