Thursday, 3 March 2016

Word Wankery

Miss 15 informed me that her Humanities teacher had set the creation of an AVD for homework this week.
A what?
Audio…Visual… something?
Alternative Virtual Doodad?
Altered Voice Description?
You know what it was she had to create? On paper—paper that was stipulated must be larger than A3 size. 
Yep… you’ve guessed it.
A poster.
A common All-classroom Very-old-fashioned Device for presenting information, now apparently referred to by the pretentious acronym AVD : Annotated Visual Display.
Call it whatever highfaluting truth-obscuring name you like, it’s still a damn poster.

I hate word wankery.

Dr Dad, the international roaming guru of Accounting Standards also known to immediate family members as Lawnmower Man, has recently participated in a workplace pilot programme for ‘ the Agile Workspace’. No kidding. That’s what they call it.
WTF is an ‘agile workspace’?  I hear you oh-so-sensibly ask.

Well, basically, it’s a super-expensive funkily-decorated open-plan office where nobody has a walled off area to call home, and, on a daily basis, only the exceptionally fleet-of-foot and sharp-of-elbows get to have a desk.
Sorry. That’s wrong.
Not a desk.
A workstation within the workspace.

In the name of increased efficiency and reduced rent, every morning the members of his team have to set up their computers, connect up their phones and portable headsets, put all their other stuff in a locker — not a designated locker of course, just whichever locker real estate is currently available — and settle down to begin the day in the focus zone of the agile workspace.

Unless, of course, they need to indulge in some idea collaboration. Then they have to ensure that they have pre-booked a collaboration zone.
This photograph is real.
Or perhaps they might discuss the latest troublesome audit over a game of ping-pong. Or better yet, in the environs perfectly suited to creative problem solving: the LEGO corner.
I shit you not. 

And if they have an extremely sensitive phone conversation to have with a top-secret client …well…  perhaps they could pop into the sleep pod? It may be a just a little like Max Smart’s Cone of Silence, but at least they can be sure nobody else will be using it. Who’s going to let anyone know they sleep on the job?

in recognition of the latest universal understanding that sitting down causes cancer, the agile workspace is, of course, equipped with both standing workstations and treadmill workstations, which, of course, are a very popular choice with women in heels and men in ties. (Margin note: me trying to  type and treadmill would be akin to me simultaneously patting my head and rubbing my tummy.)

Professionals comfortably collaborating in agile workspace (Photo:Sydney Morning Herald)
The firm has gone beyond mere wankery with words in creating the agile workspace. It's taken highfaluting truth-obscuring to a whole new level and crossed over into WTFsville.

Why does a spade have to be an individual void manipulating device?


  1. They call it hot desking over here! And I still call it a poster. Why use three words when one will do?

    1. Yes, hot desking sounds like such a comfortable and positive way to spend a working day. I'm with you. A spade is a spade.

  2. I can't stand all these buzzwords and trendy sayings that are coming into play. What is wrong with saying poster?! It makes me sick hearing stuff like 'bear with,' 'going forward' and 'moving the goalposts.' Actually, going forward, if you bear with, I might just shove those bloody goalposts where the sun don't shine!
    Word wankery indeed!

    1. You go girl! Sounds like you growl at the TV news like I do.

  3. Awesome. Who says you need to go to school to learn stuff. Thanks for the word wanking lesson :)

    1. Happy to oblige. You're always welcome. Thanks for dropping by.