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In my circle of friends, we have a habit of coining, collecting, and repeating interesting phrases, or finding new uses for existing phrases that we find amusing. After a while of using them, they become part of "the standard canonical way to refer to things", or simply "part of the cannon". At some point we acquired enough of these little phrases that we decided to start a page to record some of them for posterity and for the enjoyment of others. Variations on some these are no doubt found all over the 'net, and most of them cannot be claimed to be unique to us. Lots of geeks think alike, and we're not exactly drawing on unique cultural references here. But, they are part of the lexicon of folks I deal with, and introducing new phrases to the group, and to people new to the group, is made easier when they can refer to a page like this. Besides, this is just plain fun...


Insufficient bueno - A polite way of saying something has been judged to be lacking in overall goodness and that it sucks. Creative variations on this are encouraged - "lack of bueno", "no bueno", "bueno not found" and various others have been used at times. Positive variations are also in regular use - an example being "bueno acheived" or simply "bueno" to declare that something has achieved a state of sufficient goodness so that it no longer sucks. This is especially handy for describing something that has just or recently undergone a state change from bad to good. Using a simple "bueno" to describe something you just did means you've just fixed whatever ailed it previously. Can be used to give a verbal "thumbs up" to someone else when then complete a task or tell you about something that you approve of.

I find your lack of win disturbing - Spoof of Darth Vader, taken from a picture with this caption. Basically, a way to tell someone that they have failed at something very badly and that they ought to have done better. Can be combined with other variations, such as "I find your lack of bueno disturbing", to convey what specific attribute/skill/result is lacking in someone else's behavior/work/results.

You're channeling <insert unique character here> today - Used when someone is acting outside of their normal character and doing something characteristic of someone else well known in general or well known in our circle of friends. Your boss might be channeling his inner PHB on any given day, for example, and you might need to warn others around you about it. One amusing twist on this is is to accuse someone of channeling you, and telling them to quite stealing your act/lines/shtick.

Your <insert item/skill> fu is (strong|weak) today - Used to describe when someone is having really good or bad luck dealing with something, or if they are expected to. Use "foo" for geeky topics. Creative variants are encouraged. Spoofing an old-school low budget kung fu movie where your lips move more than you actually speak can be added for additional visual effect, but it's usually not done because most folks suck at doing that convincingly. Very funny if done properly, though. Performance art may not be dead, but it's close...

Grok Acquired - Used to tell someone that you now grok whatever is being explained or worked on, basically, that you have transitioned into a state of deep understanding in regards to the topic/issue at hand. If you don't yet grok what "grok" is, then go read up on it. Typically uttered immediately after "the light bulb goes off" to end the explanatory phase of discussion or sorting out of issues at hand, and move on to more detailed discussion or to the actual work on the issue at hand.

“Non-inclusive we” - Used to describe your team/group when explaining a group decision that has been made that you don’t agree with but that you have to abide by, and publically support. Example: “Non-inclusive we have decided that before every checkin each developer will do the chicken dance.” Credit for this goes to a PM in a team I work with; it was a masterful way of ending a debate by letting us know he personally agreed with my team on an issue, but that he couldn't do much about it right at that point. This can help focus the discussion on realistic solutions instead of bickering with someone who agrees with you, but can't really say that. Depending on the people within earshot or on the email thread, this could be seen as highly politically incorrect, but it's always entertaining. Usually said in confidence.

"Ascalate" - “ask + escalate”; perfect for those situations where you are asking a team to do something and you know they will say “no”, so you ask them to do whatever you need and you also immediately/simultaneously escalate the issue to a higher pay grade to expedite the eventual (and hopefully) correct decision of getting the team in question to do what you need them to do. Example usage: “We’re going to ascalate this request to the IT folks to get them to do <foo>.” To maximize the entertainment value, this can be used when talking directly to the team in question, as in “I’m ascalating you to do <foo>”, and you add your management to the thread at the same time. Beware of senior managers in the targeted team with no sense of humor when attempting to maximize the entertainment value.

"Retro-pucker" - When you do something not-quite-so-bright, but don't realize it until afterwards, and then the gravity of the situations hits you - and then you experience the "pucker moment" after the situation is over. This is the "oh my gosh, that could have <insert bad thing here> to me! Yikes!" moment after the deed is done, and nothing went wrong. If you are being smart, you start thinking of ways to not end up in that situation again. You might be a redneck if you start thinking of ways to do it again...

"Train Wreck of Thought" - A train of thought that becomes a train wreck mid-stream, and like any good train wreck, everyone can't help but watch the carnage all the way to the end. And there's nothing you can do to stop it - it's gonna crash no matter what you do. Highly entertaining when you are not the person doing the thinking/speaking. Actually, sometimes it's even entertaining when you are the thinker/speaker, if the carnage level is high enough, or the train takes a hard turn into something that's just so off the wall you can't help but laugh...

"Twit Happens" - There are only three sure things in life - death, taxes, and idiots. A nicer version of the same basic saying.

"Their decisions are somewhat morally challenged" - If you can't figure this one out, you need more help than this web site can give you.

"Reality Intolerant" - Some people are lactose intolerant. In the same vein, some people just can't quite handle reality, and they use various substitutes that don't quite taste/smell like the real thing. Forcing reality to intrude upon their fantasy work can be amusing, hazardous to your career, and possibly even hazardous to your health unless you can move out of arms reach fast enough. On the other hand, some of us prefer to be like Adam from Myth Busters and be honest about what we're doing when we do this. To quote him directly: "I reject your reality and I substitute my own." I'm down with that approach - it's open, honest, and damned funny when folks have you dead to rights on video...

"Self Fulfilling Mockery" - In the same vein of a self fulfilling prophesy is the case of mocking someone in an "over the top way", and then having the target of the mockery live up to your mocking.

"Acme Abyss" - The name for the magical and mysterious place where dropped tools and parts go to, never to return to the land of the living. "This vehicle comes factory equipped with an Acme Abyss in the engine compartment, so don't drop anything while working on it." Shamelessly borrowed from one of the folks who emailed me to ask some questions about one of my automotive projects - thanks, Benjamin!

"Tactical Application of Benjamins" - Used to describe a case where you have decided (or are encouraging someone else to decide) that you should pay a professional to do a job vs. do it yourself. In the DIY crowd (which my circle of friends are generally a part of in some way, shape, or form), we prize being knowing how to do things ourselves and being able to do it ourselves to save money, plus get it done exactly the way we want to. In that mindset, our first thoughts are always about how we can do the work ourselves. This phrase captures the notion that sometimes, it's smarter to pay someone else to do it; time is money and all that. Sure, I could do project Foo, but it might take me three weeks and all my spare time, where I could pay a pro to do it and get it done in one day's worth of spare time for $100. Sometimes, using professional help is a really good option. The notion here is to do it tactically via a targeted application of money to solve specific tough problems so that you can do the rest of it yourself. Common usage is something like "Have you considered a tactical application of Benjamins to solve that problem?" or "I'm tactically applying Benjamins to solve this." or simply supplying the original phrase by itself if the listener understands this concept. It suffices as both a question and a statement when needed.

"Splenda-Speak" - Speech patterns or intonations which are excessively (possibly artificially) sweet / positive / indicative of blowing sunshine in the general direction of someone's butt. Often observed by management before/during/after reorgs, by people on too many uppers, by bi-polar individuals in a state of mania, and people covering for their overwhelming lack of skills or desire to the job.


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Page last updated 01/15/2012 03:42:32 PM