Name The One Word You Hate to Hear in IT

November 20, 2015  |  Kate Brew

We asked users of the Spiceworks community to tell us the one word, or catch-phrase, they hate to hear as IT professionals. As you might have guessed, we got a lot of words in return! Here is a small sample of their responses:

Over-used Words

  • It used to be "cloud" and "storage is cheap.” Lately, though, it has been algorithms, packets, and nodes. We have a marketer here that is apparently going to use algorithms on some nodes to drop packets everywhere
  • "Big Data" thankfully has died down a bit; that term was very annoying for quite some time
  • This year, I think one of my least favorites has become "deduplication". Yeah, the word that actually describes disk compression. It's gotten better, but it's far from new. We had disk compression in DOS 6
  • “Reorganisations” & “do more with less staff & budget"
  • "Outsourced” – Ick!
  • “Synergy”... takes the cake
  • “Deep dive” or “white paper”
  • "Net net" or "plethora”
  • Advise. As in, "Please Advise"
  • "Meeting" - A meeting is 12 people doing the work of one

Too Many Words Spoken By Confused Users

  • Any time a technical term used by a user to impress me when they've actually misused said term
  • Another big one is "download". So many people have no idea what that word means. "Here's the CD, can you download XYZ program to my computer? i.e, "I downloaded the files to Google" Download is the act of pulling information down the wire to your device. When you send something from your computer to somewhere else, its Uploading.
  • Putting a program on a computer is installing, it's possible downloading might be involved, but not when they hand you a disk
  • "Internet is down".....Usually I get those when a website won't load
  • When users try to use the word “server.” "My computer is slow, is there something going on with the server"
  • …When people claim to hack their friend’s Facebook but their friend just never logged out
  • "Oops" nuff said

Impatient Users, Disrespect For Your Time & the Beloved "ASAP"

This one word is invariably included in all of the correspondence I get: ASAP. I can't believe I even typed it myself. I sincerely hate this acronym that has somehow become a word.

  • ASAP - As Slow As Possible? ... Hey you got it!!!!
  • "We need it for yesterday"
  • "Immediately"
  • Hearing "IS IT FIXED YET?!" from a very hyper sales or accounting person freaking out 5 minutes before his/her meeting is very high on my list along with any word or phrase related to 'Synergies, scenarios, or cloud'
  • "Urgent" - So, if everything at my work is "urgent", then urgent has come to mean exactly nothing anymore
  • "Is it fixed yet?" - this from another user who adds: "Literally as soon as I posted this, a user shouted this at me"
  • "Quick question"
  • Can you 'just'.......
  • Can you please look at my computer "real quick?"
  • "My home computer..."
  • "Can you help me for a second*?"... Note: a "second" may actually mean many minutes, an hour, or several hours

Kablooey And Other Dumb "Words"

  • From a particularly eloquent SpiceHead; Any completely uninformative word to describe a problem a user is having, or the hardware or system they're having difficulty with. I have a friend, whom I like very much, but who is notorious for this offense. When she asked me for help with her laptop many years ago and I requested more details, her description was "I don't know. It went kablooey."

    "Kablooey" tells me exactly two things: Jack and $#!+, and Jack left town! And I hear this kind of talk constantly. "The thingy is broken." "My confuser (that joke was funny once, using it 95 times is beating the horse deader than dead) isn't working." "I need a HotSync." Granted, that one was at least semi-informative, but it doesn't help when it's barked with urgency. And on and on…

    Also, I take issue with users that insist upon using the incorrect term for an action. I have dealt with this more times than I care to remember when I was working a public service job. When I say "left-click," I say so for a specific reason. I don't care that your community college class told you it was called "selecting." I do not want you to "select" that button, I want you to "left-click" that button, and while you are in my domain you will do as I command lest I become the vengeful, striking hammer of god (apologies to the Boondock Saints).

    It's 2015 and this crap is unacceptable no matter where someone comes from. Just a file clerk? We'', tough, nontechnical users get no sympathy from me. Technology is ubiquitous - "Nontechnical" doesn't "technically" exist in this day and age. Old? Cry me a river - age is not an excuse, either. In fact, there is no excuse anymore. I'm not expecting an end-user to be able to compile LFS with -march flags specified in GCC, but there are certain basic areas of knowledge about which you do NOT get to plead ignorance.

    Fortunately I'm currently in an environment where people understand, respect and appreciate technology and it is refreshing beyond description. I intend to nurture a long, fruitful relationship with my present company. My sanity needs it.


  • I'm going to run this past our Chief Cultural Officer and get his take
  • He's a Goal Digger so he should be able to come up with some great Smarketing ideas for us
  • Really peel back the onion
  • Start herding the cats
  • We'll drink the Kool Aid he's serving because he's proven in the past to be really Customer-centric .
  • We've eaten our own dog food and broken it down to the Granular level. It's been Seamless
  • Now remember, we need all hands on deck with this
  • This is mission critical
  • We need Synergy
  • We need to make it part of our DNA
  • We may hit a pain point, but I know if we take an Innovative approach, we can have a real Come to Jesus Moment
  • Why don't we put a pin in this for now
  • We can tee-off sometime next week
  • Let's not get too crazy or else we'll suffer from Paralysis by Analysis
  • We're working with a short runway let's get passionate!!!I

Anything to do with Printers

Absolutely no shortage of ill-feelings here!

In summary, Spiceworks users had a lot to say about the one word they hate to hear in IT. What's your word? If you have one that wasn't covered, please leave a comment in the Spiceworks thread.

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