Sanity Check

I just wanted to sanity check that to make sure that there aren’t change-of-control issues or other kinds of contractual wiggles.

Unsucked:

The act of running an outlandish plan or  set of assumptions past someone who is likely to agree with you.

Screw the Pooch

Unless we really screw the pooch, you’ll see 25 percent gross margin in Q4.

Unsucked:

Such a weird one, right? The phrase originated as “fuck the dog”, military slang, of course. Then Tom Wolfe cleaned it up for his book The Right Stuff. Just say “screw up” and leave the poor dog out of it.

sea change

Unsucked:

Major change.

secret sauce

Unsucked:

You know it’s just Thousand Island dressing, right?

secret weapon

Designer/founders are the venture capitalist’s new secret weapon now that Flash-developer/DJs have been hunted to extinction.

Unsucked:

An emerging trend or perceived asset openly embraced in desperation.  See: silver bullet.

See if It Sticks

Unsucked:

Test it.

SEO

Optimize your SEO to obtain more valuable visitors.

Unsucked:

An incantation uttered in the hope of attracting eyeballs. Also, an acronym for search engine optimization (SEO), a set of practices for writing and coding websites to increase their ranking on Google.

share

Unsucked:

Tell, often in a somewhat passive aggressive manner.

Sharpen the Point on this Pencil

We’d like to know how much money is in this jar. To put a sharper point on this pencil, we’d like every single penny in this jar counted.

Unsucked:

Be more specific. Also, prepare to stab the speaker, or oneself,  in the eye.

Shoehorn

Unsucked:

Force in.

Shoot for the Moon

Let’s shoot for the moon and then when we don’t launch on time, we’ll look like we did everything we could.

Unsucked:

Do your best.

show-stopper

Unsucked:

Something you would have caught much earlier if you’d been paying attention.

silo

Siloing of a website requires a multi-step process of planning and implementation.

Unsucked:

Where large organizations keep the cows they milk to fill their content buckets.

Silver Bullet

If we can find a silver bullet, this project will be a slam dunk.

Unsucked:

Simple and magical solution. A bullet designed to destroy werewolves, monsters, and Republican extremists. The product of wishful thinking.

Sing from the Same Hymn Sheet

To facilitate more cohesive communication within the organization, we need to make sure we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.

Unsucked:

Express the same opinions publicly.

Single Point of Contact

Unsucked:

Contact.

sketchnotes

Unsucked:

Doodles made during lectures, such as one would get busted for in 9th grade World History class.

Skin the Cat

There’s more than one way to skin the cat.

Unsucked:

Solve a problem or complete a task.

Skull Session

The President will invite him over for a skull session to ask him where the needless complications are.

Unsucked:

A strategy meeting of the skinless heads.

Small People

Unsucked:

Individuals.

smart

This smart TV platform has received more than a facelift with a new cloud service and advanced interactivity.

Unsucked:

A device, system, or business process with an enhanced ability to f**k you when it breaks or fails to work.

snackable content

Join this webinar to learn how we are revolutionizing short content monetization by creating great snackable content.

Unsucked:

The Pirate’s Booty of online information.

Social Graph

Unsucked:

Network (i.e., the people you know).

social intelligence

If you represent a large consumer brand, consider deploying a social intelligence command center.

Unsucked:

The capacity of the human brain to effectively navigate complex social relationships. Typically lacking in those who use this term.

Social Media Guru

The company’s social media guru/expert/evangelist/consultant thinks we should be on Facebook.

Unsucked:

Douche rocket.

Social Media Strategy

Here’s a ten-step guide to developing a killer social media strategy for your company.

Unsucked:

Typing into text areas.

Socialize

Let’s socialize this to maximize the success of the project.

Unsucked:

Share for review and feedback.

Soft Copy

Unsucked:

A digital version of a document. Frequently requested for the purpose of making detrimental or capricious changes.

Soft Launch

We need to soft launch this website to meet our deadline.

Unsucked:

Release to the public without publicity (to meet a deadline, while praying no one looks at it yet).

Solution

Unsucked:

Software. Please, just call it software.

Solutioneering

Unsucked:

Thinking.

Soup-to-Nuts

What we’re looking for is a soup-to-nuts solution to send text messages to subscribers.

Unsucked:

Complete; start to finish.

Space

In the third quarter, we will make a play in the twentysomething first-person shooter app space.

Unsucked:

Industry or market. Sometimes double-douched out to mean field or demographic.

Spearhead

Unsucked:

Lead.

Specific Target Audience

Unsucked:

Audience.

Spend More Time With Family

If we don’t deal with these allegations pronto, I might have to start spending more time with my family.

Unsucked:

Quit a job for a reason that someone finds too embarrassing or damaging to divulge.

splinternet

Their data confirms that open source mobile projects are alive and well, even in the age of the Splinternet.

Unsucked:

A steampunk copy of the Internet made of rough-hewn wood and barb wire.

Stakeholder

We need to engage all the stakeholders to drive a consensus and get everybody on the same page.

Unsucked:

Anyone in an organization who would kill a good idea out of spite or political ill will.

standup

We have a standup every morning to determine how close we are to launch.

Unsucked:

Quick meeting.

Starting to Gel

It’s clear from yesterday’s meeting that the new team is starting to gel.

Unsucked:

Working well together.

stealth mode

Operating in stealth mode since last fall, the company emerged in invite-only beta mode earlier this month and promises to be a revolutionary new take on the concept of retail investing.

Unsucked:

The state of being secretive in order to build hype, while concealing a near total lack of worthwhile ideas.

Sticky

“Peanut butter and jelly. So tasty, so sweet and so sticky! Make your website like that and you are on your way to having a successful website.”

Unsucked:

Pertaining to the capacity of a website to attract and retain new visitors. Habit-forming. Interesting. Appealing. The desired result of applying creative juices.

Stop-Gap

Unsucked:

Temporary solution.

Strategic Partnership

The general availability of our joint solution represents a key milestone in our strategic partnership.

Unsucked:

Sufficient fanfare about working with another company to obscure a portion of the incompetence or malfeasance of each.

Strategic Planning

Unsucked:

Compiling decisions and forecasts based on blue sky thinking.

straw man

We put together a straw man to get the VP to sign off on the budget. Then, we’ll determine how much time we need.

Unsucked:

Fictitious plan or timeline that allows everyone involved on a project to sound like they have some idea how long the work is going to take.

subject matter expert (SME)

The more traditional field marketer role of being a local subject matter expert, sometimes known as the local product champion, is diminishing.

Unsucked:

The rare person who actually understands the product, their job, or how the organization works.

suboptimal

Peanut butter and clams make a suboptimal flavor combination.

Unsucked:

Bad.

sucking wind

Unsucked:

Failing.

summit

Unsucked:

A fancy vacation planned among a group of friends who think highly of themselves, with an associated tax deduction.

sunset

Unsucked:

 (v.) To gradually deprive a product or service of support, finally shutting it down, leaving loyal users alone in the darkness. A common fate of acquisitions once the related engineers have been reassigned to various internal boondoggles.

sunset (v.)

Unsucked:

Kill or stop supporting.

superhero

Unsucked:

A programmer or designer who refuses to collaborate with anyone else and waits until the last minute to deliver. With flair.

symbiotic

Unsucked:

Helpful or unified.

sync up

Unsucked:

Talk.

synergize

We decided in our meeting to synergize with some marketing partners to increase sales.

Unsucked:

Cooperate, but you know, in a way that sounds like science aerobics because you read that one self-help book that used the word “exponential” a lot.

synergy, synergize

Well, we decided in our meeting that we’re going to synergize with some marketing partners and that will increase sales.

Unsucked:

Working together.

T-Shaped

Although this tension is most acute for heads of business units, any T-shaped manager with operating unit obligations must wrestle with it.

Unsucked:

An executive with widespread arms to embrace change and straight legs to stand firm, but no head.

table stakes

Marketing leaders will realize marketer “agility” is part table stakes, part harmful!

Unsucked:

Minimum required or expected.

table this

Unsucked:

Never speak of this uncomfortable topic again.

take a step back

If you take a step back and look at it from a more medium-term point of view, this isn’t the reason to buy the euro.

Unsucked:

Pause reflectively while you try to figure out what the fuck is going on.

take it offline, take this offline

That’s a great question, but let’s take it offline.

Unsucked:

Let’s talk about it later or privately.

take it to the next level

I really like the presentation, but let’s take it to the next level.

Unsucked:

Make nebulous improvements. Complete a challenging quest to increase the total hit points and charisma of your chaotic neutral half-elf ranger.

takeaway

That’s adorable you’ve done so much research, but let’s skip the deep dive and focus on the takeaway.

Unsucked:

The kernel of a complex set of ideas diluted and simplified to the point of triviality.

team player

I know these aren’t the most fun decisions to make, but let’s be team players here and find a way to resolve this.

Unsucked:

Helpful co-worker. A person who agrees with or validates the speaker, or who agrees to take on a non-trivial crap task no one else wants to do. Pushover.

telecommute

Unsucked:

Work from home. Do one’s laundry.

telephonically

On a going forward basis, all brain dumps will be initiated and communicated telephonically.

Unsucked:

By telephone. For futuristic sophisticates that yearn to mate with those on the wrong-so-right side of the uncanny valley.

thought leader

Despite the obvious benefits, the beauty of a great thought leadership campaign is the spin off it can create for that person or the brand.

Unsucked:

Someone who believes, or of whom it is believed, that uttering platitudes passes for work.

thought shower

A council has suggested staff stop using the word “brainstorming” and replace it with “thought shower” in case it offends epileptics.

Unsucked:

A gentler form of “brainstorm” for the easily taxed or offended.

throw under the bus

“NASA threw him under the bus revealing that the paper was dismissed by the peer-review board of the National Journal of Astrobiology”.

Unsucked:

Offer up another party for blame, punishment, or harm to deflect it from oneself.  Sacrifice or betray. Frequently develops into a competitive sport as soon as a complex project starts to go south.

tickler

I’ll put a tickler on my calendar so I don’t forget that conference call.

Unsucked:

Reminder.

tiger team

The work group, known as the privacy and security tiger team, met Monday and released what amounts to a consensus report on its recommendations.

Unsucked:

A dedicated, focused team.

timebox

Guys, let’s timebox this conversation to five minutes, and if it goes over, we’ll take it offline.

Unsucked:

Insert a portion of your precious dwindling lifetime into a wee, pre-measured coffin.

top of mind

Making the logo bigger is the one update that’s currently top of mind.

Unsucked:

Important to the douchebag speaking or their boss.

touch base

The regional sales director said it was vital to return this year to touch base with current suppliers and buyers.

Unsucked:

Pat lightly on the buttocks, particularly to establish rapport during business dealings.

touchpoint, touch point

Executives who walk a mile in customers’ shoes before racing to “improve” relationships with big ideas tend to be more sensitive to crucial touch points.

Unsucked:

The marketer’s erogenous zone. An interaction between a business and a customer.

traction

Growth investments over the last six months are achieving traction in exposing a larger audience

Unsucked:

Forward motion in generating PR spin.

transcreation

Transcreation ensures campaign-critical messages are rendered consistently across languages while remaining sensitive to local requirements.

Unsucked:

The act of translating advertising copy so you don’t inadvertently promise to bring ancestors back from the dead with massive erections.  You could just say “translate…correctly”.

transform

Unsucked:

Change.

triage

Unsucked:

Prioritize, with the understanding that, as on M*A*S*H, some of your babies will die a bloody death in messy obscurity.

tweak

Unsucked:

Change or adjust.

tweet jam

Unsucked:

Twitter discussion. Possibly involving Forrester analysts and Phish roadies.

Über Trend

Mobile is an important piece, but the über trend is Microsoft going consumer.

Unsucked:

Really? Just…no.

ubiquitous

Adopting USB 3.0 technology will be beneficial in delivering a more ubiquitous, richer user experience

Unsucked:

Unavoidable.

underwater

Unsucked:

A quality increasingly shared by coastlines and mortgages thanks to GOP policies.

unleash (the power of)

Analysts say the social-media giant hasn’t even unleashed a key weapon in its arsenal: Instagram.

Unsucked:

Use the full potential, often imagined, of a perceived asset or resource.

unpack

If you unpacked the growth that we’ve had in the past few years, it’s all driven by the privileged few at the top of the chain.

Unsucked:

Analyze or explain a seemingly simple concept that contains depths of complex meaning. Those who use this term should unpack their personal baggage about wanting to appear intellectual.

up to your ass in alligators

Can you take on this project or are you up to your ass in alligators?

Unsucked:

Beset by vexing problems or tasks.

 

The complete saying is “When you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s easy to forget you came to drain the swamp.” This phrase has political connotations, as Washington D.C. is quite literally and uncomfortably in a swamp. President Reagan spoke of draining the swamp of big government in 1983. Probably uttered by the same people who warn you not to screw the pooch.

upsell and cross-sell

With all the talk of BI and analytics, very little is done to tie field-service activities to customer satisfaction scores and the likelihood of upsell/cross-sell and churn.

Unsucked:

Sell the customer more than they wanted/needed.

upset the apple cart

Unsucked:

Cause problems.

upskill

More foreign investors are needed to help upskill indigenous business people.

Unsucked:

Upgrade individual units of your human capital by installing additional knowledge and capabilities in order to reap more value from them.

upstream

Unsucked:

Earlier or before production.

utilize

My dentist utilizes all the popular social media channels to improve his patient interactions.

Unsucked:

The insecure person’s pseudo-fancy way of saying “use”.