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Coasting : Issue 7 Jan 2010
9 www.coastingtoday.com.au COASTING WORDS c8657553-7Jan LOOK at this list of new buzz words for the office, as received in an anonymous email at Coasting, and choose your favourite. If you're like 80 per cent of respondents to a Coasting straw poll on the list, you nodded and smiled when you read about the seagull manager. It's a term that also tickled Central Coast lecturer in linguistics at Newcastle University, Dr Jean Harkins. "My personal favourite is the seagull manager (or seagull consultant) because it's such a picturesque local image, as well as a common experience in many workplaces," Dr Harkins said. "The cube farm also evokes a strong mental picture, and percussive maintenance is clever and fun." Dr Harkins said salmon day and prairie dogging weren't as likely to catch on in Australia because of the reference to North American fauna. But Australians were always likely to adapt American phrases to suit the local lingo. "For instance, I've heard a more unprintable Aussie four-letter word version of the oh-no moment," she said. So, at the end of the day, is coining and using fun phrases for the workplace a complete waste of time going forward, or are there solutions and benefits to be enjoyed? "I believe there is considerable merit in word-play," Dr Harkins said. "It can defuse tension at work, it exercises the brain in a lateral-thinking way, and promotes good-humoured interaction and a bit of a laugh." for the workplace Sick of overused phrases such as "at the end of the day", "going forward" and "solutions" being repeated ad nauseum by managers in your workplace? Relief is at hand. Workplace terms for 2010 • Blamestorming - Sitting around in a group, discussing why a project failed and who was responsible. • Seagull manager - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, pooh poohs everything, and then leaves. • Salmon day - The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream. • Cube farm - An office filled with cubicles. • Prairie dogging - When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and everyone's head pops up over the walls to see what's going on. • Percussive maintenance - The delicate art of whacking an electronic device to get it to work again. • Oh-no second - That fraction of time in which you realise that you've just made a big mistake (such as when you've hit 'reply all' on an email). WORD PLAY: Lecturer in linguistics, Dr Jean Harkins, pictured at the Central Coast campus of Newcastle University. Picture by Aaron Brown. By DAVID STEWART
Coastal Life 17th Dec 2009
Issue 8 Feb 2010