Words To Never Use: Co-creating the Obfuscation Edition

Most of the words in our workplace are boring. So we borrow, reuse and invent new ones to amuse ourselves.

We try to make our work sound more important than it really is. All we end up with is obfuscation.

Co-creation – You create something by yourself. You writers and painters and developers and creative people. Then you get feedback and input that either dumbs it down or turns it into something no longer interesting. Co-creation = obfuscation. Don’t be a co-creationist.

Passion – The meaning is clear. Use only for it’s intended purpose. ‘She’s passionate about Twitter.’ Meh. ‘His passion for taking selfies is unmatched.’ No way. ‘He has a passion for writing.’ Better. ‘The young lover’s fiery, unquenchable passion for each other was palpable.’ Good. Also, sorry for injecting this post with YA romance.

Go pear-shaped – The shape of a pear is natural. Something you screwed up? Also natural. And typical you. Just don’t blame the pear.

World-class – The biggest humble brag any organization can say about itself. And many do. Classy.

Farm-to-table – As opposed to ‘Hydroponics room-to-table’? ‘Test tube-to-table’? I hope you washed the pears before you put them on my table.

Curate – As in curate content for social media. Sounds exciting. It’s not. Curating paintings and artifacts for a museum? Somewhat exciting. Curating lost treasure from the bottomless fathoms of the sea? Damn exciting.

Landscaping – If your garden or lawn needs work, landscape it. If your work needs review and analysis, tend to it.

Manscaping – Visualize the implications of this word. You are welcome.

Adorbs – No. If you are too lazy to write actual words like ‘adorable’, please stop writing. Thx! Xs & Os!

To ballpark (something) – Use ‘estimate’ already! You play the great game of baseball in a ballpark. Don’t sully this word.

Game changer – Anything you call a ‘game changer’ is an exaggeration. The games have already been changed. Just start playing. Start with baseball.

Future proof – The future is immune to your proofing. Even futurists get it wrong. I predict.

Pain points – My pain point is that I have to write these world-class, game changing lists. I ballpark that I can curate a few more. The English language is ever ripe for abuse. And I am passionate about landscaping the pear-shapedness of how obfuscated this co-creationism has become.

You are adorbs!


Five Random Quotes: Let’s Go Hiking

In honor of my upcoming 50 kilometer One Day Hike along the C & O Canal Towpath, let’s enjoy a few quotes.


‘In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.’ – John Muir


‘Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.’ – Steven Wright



‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson


‘A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.’ – O.A. Battista



‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.’ – T.S. Eliot



‘Every twenty minutes on the Appalachian Trail, Katz and I walked farther than the average American walks in a week. For 93 percent of all trips outside the home, for whatever distance or whatever purpose, Americans now get in a car. On average, the total walking of an American these days – that’s walking of all types: from car to office, from office to car, around the supermarket and shopping malls – adds up to 1.4 miles a week…That’s ridiculous.’ – Bill Bryson from A Walk In The Woods





Tweetnado Punishes You With Randomness

Just when you thought it was safe to stay inside, Tweetnado strikes!

My random goal in March was to use Twitter until it went out of style. Done.

I also flung a frenzy of feckless content at you, like a monkey with his feces.


March Goal: Post 186 tweets on three accounts (Read the full goal)


  • @ARandomJourney = 97 tweets
  • @UW_DCDawgs = 30 tweets
  • @ProgEffective = 67 tweets

Grand total: 194

Result: Success!


What did I learn?

Not much. No surprise, I’m not much for learnings.


What will I do about it?

I don’t anticipate being any sort of amazing Twitterer. 4-5 tweets a day? Forget it. I’ll keep at it, but it will come in bursts and spurts of inspiration.

I’ll keep punishing the @UW_DCDawgs account with updates of our sports teams and upcoming alumni activities. Lucky you.

I’ll use my personal account @ARandomJourney for good old-fashioned randomness, but I won’t go out of my way to post like I did in March.


What was my favorite tweet in March?



What sucked?

My @ARandomJourney account was HACKED. Those bastards.

The virus sent a crappy tweet to every one of my followers. I had to change my password, apologize (hate doing that) and DELETE over 100 tweets! Bah!


What else?

43 total new followers across all three accounts.

I coined the term ‘tweetnado’. I presume.


Tweet it out!


140 for April/May: Miles Hiking and Running

I trust you’ve survived the wacky winter.

The time is nigh to get outside. Bust out a hammock.

Or rather run. Hike. Walk your wiener dog. Get some sun on your face. Don a bikini or speedo.

Whatever it takes. Be active.


April/May Goal: Hike and run 140 miles


Coming up, I have the One Day Hike on April 26th (50 kilometers) and the Semper Fi 5K on May 10th.

And some practice hikes and runs.

140 miles shouldn’t be too terrible over two months.

Let’s get it on!


Here is the successful report out on my first random goal of 2014.

January/February Goal: Exercise 33 days (out of 59)

Final stats: 34 days exercising

Result: Success

Totals breakdown:

  • Running = 8.5 miles
  • Hiking = 18.3 miles
  • Biking = 125 miles
  • Volleyball games = 39
  • Skiing = 1 day

Even though I technically succeeded, I could have done more.

One volleyball match (3 games) counted. Riding a bike for 4 miles in one day counted. This is exercise, sure, but I wasn’t always pushing myself.

I was successfully active. Let’s go with that.