Buzzword Bingo - the overuse of jargon in business (article)

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If you think there is too much jargon in business, then this free article by Derek Stockley about playing Buzzword Bingo may bring some humour to the situation.

Buzz words are overused

There are some fun resources available that 'have a go' in a humourous way about buzz words and other jargon.

Regular readers have probably already realised my dislike for complicated jargon and phrases when simpler words are available. I much prefer 'people' to 'human resources'. I dislike hearing senior executives talking in circles with meaningless phrases such as "our revised retail offer will optimise our long-term viability and underscore the actions taken to maximise the return from all our marketing channels."

You can now have fun with such jargon.

Wikipedia, the free web encyclopaedia defines Buzzword Bingo:

Buzzword bingo is a game sometimes played in relaxed team meetings. The rules resemble those of bingo, but instead of a matrix of numbers, each player's card is a matrix of buzzwords. When a player hears one of his buzzwords spoken in the meeting, he crosses it off his card. The winner is the player who crosses a full line first.

The first documented buzzword bingo occurred when the then Vice President of the United States Al Gore, known for his liberal use of buzzwords hyping technology, spoke at MIT's 1996 graduation. The graduation class had distributed bingo cards containing buzzwords to the audience. The actual bingo card is shown here: MIT "Buzzword Bingo"Card for Al Gore.

Do a Google search for "Buzzword Bingo". The listing provides a range of resources, including a number with buzzword lists to actually use in meetings.


Buzzword bingo is a fun way to highlight the tendency of managers to overuse jargon.

Sometimes the KISS principle should apply - Keep It Simple Stupid.

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