Friday, October 07, 2005

Words that Business Students Love to Use to Sound Smart & Professional

(or Words-That-Show-I-am-Smart-and-Therefore-I will-Be-a-Rich-Businessman/Woman Some Day)
I realize that in blogging about such a specific topic that I may be losing a vast majority of my reading audience (all 3 of you) but I must be true to myself. I have a previous lame post called “Sew Much Fun” where I talk about my favorite sewing words. In my last post I talked a bit about my days in the Marriott School of Management at BYU. That brought on a lot of memories. So here goes.…

1. Bottleneck--No one bothered to explain what this meant to me in terms of business operations. I’m sure it was defined in a textbook, which I obviously didn’t read so I just kept hearing this word tossed around the classroom for months before I finally caught on. Heaven forbid I ask! This was the most overused word in the Marriott School of Management during 1992-1996. I bet nothing has changed. I bet every professor still urges every student to find the bottleneck in the operations of the such-and-such company. As long as you mentioned the word “bottleneck” in a paper you got an A. Give me a shovel.

2. Opportunity Cost—Unfortunately I saw Dana Carvey’s movie, Opportunity Knocks shortly before coming to BYU so every time I heard the words Opportunity Cost in class I snickered and thought of Dana Carvey’s impersonation of George Bush Sr., “Not gun do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.” This prevented me from focusing on what the Opportunity Cost was that my Professor was talking about at the time and instead to focus on all my favorite Dana Carvey skits. Can you blame me?

3. Paradigm—This word should be illegal. Every time I hear this word to this day I think of the brown-nosers in Professor Perry’s (OB) Organizational Behavior class who always said phrases like “a shift in our paradigms” to prove to the teacher that they were listening. Pardigm. Paradigm. Paradigm. Why not just say example, model, or even prototype. Snooty business school. And speaking of OB, I got a C+ in this class and went crying to the T.A. telling him that I lost my scholarship because of that C+. What I left out was that that scholarship was really my usury of my Hispanic heritage to sustain a scholarship through the Multicultural department. I’m sure those scholarships were intended to help minority students who maybe didn’t have a command of the English language (not that I do) and were underprivileged. But I didn’t care—I needed the money and I did go to public school so that is underprivileged, isn’t it? So the professor changed my grade to a B- but it sill wasn’t enough to get that Mexican Kid Scholarship. Dang!

4. PV (Present Value of Money) or FV (Future Value of Money)—We all loved our business HP calculators and also loved to enter in all the required fields and then hit the “FV” button to figure out just how much money we would have on a certain date in the future, if we sustained a certain interest rate and therefore, how rich we would be. Maybe our (mine and Paul’s) obsession with calculating the FV of money led us to realize how much we were being ripped off if we took the entire 15 years to pay off our student loans! Ignorance is bliss my friends.

5. FIFO and LIFO—No these are not names of dogs, but if I ever have a dog, and I won’t, I would name him FIFO. That way only smart business people would know just how smart and witty I really am. It would be our own little inside joke. I think a dog would respond well to Fifo. What cracks me up is that these terms were tossed around here and there in class and study groups as if we were using real business words like “investment” or “depreciation” instead of some lame acronyms. (FIFO/LIFO are systems of accounting for your inventory—First In First Out and Last In First Out. In case you are just dying to know, which you are not.)

You must be wondering to yourself why I haven’t gone on to get my MBA with such riveting course work as sampled above. Laziness…my friends…just laziness. See my previous blog….would a higher degree in business get me money’s worth? Doubtful.


Lori Lashley said...

Lovin it, Cyn. Totally snickering at the thought of Dana Carvey doin Bush Sr. Rememberin making some similar jokes about 'opportunity cost' back in Holguin's economics class.

Have to wonder if 'paradigm' never made you think of PARABOLA! Rememer in Mrs. Koch's class??!!

I must admit that I didn't know every term in your list. I was kind of bummed not to find the actual definition for bottleneck as business termniology.

My two and a half years as semi Marriott-management (rooms controller) in Florida never gave me such illumination. Perhaps you're degree IS worth more than you give it credit!

You're definitely too smart not to take this business to the highest level. By the time the kiddos are all in school full time, I'm expecting to see some mighty accomplishments. You're one smart cookie!

Carolyn said...

I was just in lovely San Marino, California at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Whilst on my excursion there with my friend Jill, we made reservations to the Tea Room for an afternoon buffet of cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, and tea (I stick to water, of course). Anyway, I tell you this to give you a picture of the setting wherein I found myself seated next to a woman who felt it necessary to use every $10 word in her vocabulary in the course of conversation with the 20 people seated at her table. I had to turn to my companion Jill and question it: "Did she just say the words 'disestablismentarianism', 'ubiquitous'and 'misanthropic' in normal dialogue?" Seriously, she used some even better words that had us rolling our eyes into our teacups. I started to mock her but realized I was just being a predatory and rapacious philistine, so I negated my attempts at ridicule.

cyn the win said...

Carolyn, you should write a blog and call it, "Words that snooty people like to use" and have a link to this blog. If we criticize enough we may just make fun of the whole wide world.


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