What's in a word?

The dictionary continued to expand in 2019
Barry Shannon

I WAS reading an article recently about the evolution of language and how so many new words are introduced each year, either formally via the English Oxford Dictionary or informally, simply through everyday usage.

We've had Brexit, Megxit and other variations on a theme. There's been ‘anticipointment' (when something you've looked forward to turns out to be rubbish), ‘snaccident' (when you realise you've just eaten a full pack of biscuits while watching tv) and everyone loves a ‘cupset' (just like Wimbledon pulled off by winning the 1988 FA Cup Final against Liverpool).

So on that note I thought I would share some suggestions for HR related words that might work for folks in the upcoming year:

Benchmurk: when you compare your place of work with other, similar, companies and deliberately fudge or obfuscate the results, so things don't look so bad.

Sappraisal: the meeting you have at the end of the year where you and your manager stare at each other and try to think of nice things to say, while slowly draining each other of the will to live.

Boativation: like Chris Janson sang “money can't buy everything, but it can buy me a boat”. This reflects the stage of life where everything you do is motivated purely by the dream of retirement (and metaphorically sailing away on your boat)

Workcation: when you bring the phone or laptop with you on vacation and end up doing more work by the pool side than you did while in the office.

Cruel-aid: getting everyone to join you in drinking a glass of pure negativity, so they crawl down into your pit of misery and wallow there with you.

Binnovation: this happens at a meeting where everyone proposes random, often totally impractical ideas that you are forced to listen to and consider, even though you know they are going straight to the trash afterwards: usually linked to ‘blue sky thinking'

Painstorming: the agony you feel taking part in a ‘binnovation' session

Binergy: the final part of the trilogy: this is the energy you use up listening to and considering all those useless ideas.

Methical: when the only way you could possible justify what you are doling as ‘the right thing' is by being high.

Blamework: The protective structure you build at the start of every project to make sure that there is a range of other people to take the fall before you.

Doh-sess: a thoroughly pointless process that is there just for the sake of it, to make everyone's life a little more frustrating.

Milestun: the amazement you feel when you realise today is the day that someone totally useless reached their first work anniversary

Chairvoyance: The enlightenment you get (usually pretty early on) during a meeting you are running that tells you this is going to drag on for hours and yet produce nothing worthwhile at the end of it all.

Now maybe these will mean something to you and maybe they won't, but hopefully you won't think they fall under the category of ‘crydias' (suggestions so awful they make you burst into tears).

Barry Shannon ( is director of human resources at TSYS Cayan in Belfast

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