10 Apr

It seems like the word “buzzword” is a buzzword in itself these days.  Every couple of days there seems to be some new word or phrase circulating the media.  I’ll hear it on NPR during my morning commute to school, I’ll see it on Twitter and Facebook and my various news websites while I’m online, I’ll hear it on CNN when I get home from school and again at night when I watch the newest episodes of The Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

Especially in the political realm, buzzwords are like pieces of gum.  You pull one out in class and everyone perks their head up, trying to get a piece.  Someone coins a particularly witty word or phrase and all of the sudden, it’s everywhere.  A couple weeks ago, someone called Mitt Romney an Etch-a-Sketch.  I don’t even know the full story but I know that something about Mitt Romney and an Etch-a-Sketch were somehow related.

And I know that Etch-a-Sketch sales jumped something like 1500 percent after that particular buzzword started making its way through our conversations.

Buzzwords are a dream come true for social media analysts.  And for any company that might profit off of that word, as in the Etch-a-Sketch case.

When buzzwords are really active, it’s easy for researchers and analysts to measure what everyone’s talking about–with a simple search of the buzzword, they can catch up to the most current conversations happening about a topic.

Of course, my lack of education on the history of the great Etch-a-Sketch Revival that just happened is quite telling in itself.  People are using these buzzwords, but do they really know what they mean?

Sure they can spark a conversation, but how in-depth are the conversations surrounding these buzzwords?  With how fleeting they are in our rapidly evolving language, my guess is that they do not promote deep, sustainable conversations.  They’re just buzzwords.

Like a little bee.  They buzz by, you swat them away, and they’re gone. Until the next one comes along.


One Response to “Buzzwords?”

  1. kaitlynhorbal April 17, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    I think it’s really cool your post uses the etch-a-sketch. I agree, buzzwords are just that buzzwords, They’re popular now but for how long?

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