10 buzzwords that need to vanish in 2012

Let’s take a moment to reflect on these jargon terms—and then bury them.

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Maybe you’re short on content for that case study or presentation, or you’re speaking on a topic that you aren’t entirely comfortable talking about.

So, what do you do?

Pull out those “cool-sounding words” that are meant to “wow” your audience—in other words, buzzwords and jargon. Some of these buzzwords have to go.

Here are 10 words that I wish every PR pro, marketer, and advertiser would stop abusing in 2012:

1. Synergy

What, exactly, does synergy even mean? I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard the term used in news conferences, or read it in press releases and articles. It’s used so often, by so many people, in so many different instances that its original meaning has been lost. Seriously, what does it mean?

2. Klout or +K

Oh, good ol’ Klout. This quasi-mysterious algorithm attempts to quantify influence. The problem is you really can’t quantify influence—at least not yet.

3. Jack-of-all-trades

I’ve had a problem with this one since my days in journalism school, mainly because not everyone who claims to be a jack-of-all-trades is one. It’s usually a clever excuse to glorify mediocrity. How about a new (old) term: knowledge a mile wide and an inch deep.

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