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Keeping Up On Terminology for 2020

Every year or two, we try to find the new words (and repeating words) that are new yet have become part of our daily vocabulary (or will become part of our daily vocabulary).  Here is the list for 2020.  Enjoy - and start using them (appropriately)!  

Dating terms (terms from dating that have come into Corporate America):

  • Ghosting – Ghosting is breaking off a relationship by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate.
  • Orbiting – you’ve been ghosted, but the person who ghosted you still engages with you on social media (LinkedIn for business, etc.).
  • Cookie-Jarring – you haven’t had the ‘are we exclusive?’ – the ‘only opportunity you are looking at discussion’  so you know they are active in the marketplace.  And then you find out that the whole time, they’ve been pursuing their first choice and your position were just the back-up option. You’ve been cookie-jarred!  (The idea is that if something doesn’t work out, the person always has another cookie in the jar.)
  • Pocketing – the person you are actively pursuing for a role appears to be keeping you on the back burner and is in no hurry to seriously commit.
  • You-Turning – it’s a (playful) way of describing someone who seemingly is super intensely moving forward with a job opportunity or corporate role and, and then suddenly changes their mind and bolts in the other direction.

Phubbing – phone snubbing; pretending to be listening while scrolling through a newsfeed or Facebook posts. 

Solopreneur – an entrepreneur who works alone (solo), running their business single-handedly.  (These people are becoming the go-to people for companies interested in project-based execution.)

  • Side Hustle – a trendier way of referring to a side business (contract work, gig, etc.). 
  • Slashie – a millennial who has varying ‘side hustles’ in their professional titles.  This could be in addition to their 9 – 5 job. 

404 – originally a technical term for Not Found 404 (which is an error message seen on a Web page to indicate a requested URL was not found on a server).  It is now slang to say “404” when someone is clueless. 

H2H – instead of B2C or B2B, brands are talk H2H – human to human; focus is on creating a feeling of trust and safety from the person ‘selling’; more focus on story-telling.

ROR – Return on Relationship.  For companies whose business relies on relationship building, you are measuring whether the management of the relationship is fruitful to the business. 

Thirsty – refers to someone’s desperation or over-aggressiveness.  (Michael has been trying to reach me all week; he is so thirsty.) 

Curated Commerce – based on the demand for personalization in everything we do, this term refers to creating unique product lines that provide customers with a distinct collection not offered by other online retailers in the market.  (Think – online shopping in highly personalized boutiques.)

Ransom Note – the sting of letters or numbers that appear on some web pages that require you to type the sequence you see in order to gain access to another web page. 

Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome – a vibration you feel in the place you usually carry your phone even when the phone is not with you. 

FOMO – fear of missing out; a fear that if you do not go to an event, you are missing out on something great (or that others are doing something significant without you)

  • I have to go to that presentation – I have severe FOMO

Deserves the analog – likely to fail due to not being able to adapt to new circumstances.

Freemium – a strategy where the basic version of a product is offered free of charge, in the hope that customers will pay for an upgraded version.

Hyperlocal – the use of GPS data to geographically target audiences and provide location-based advertising delivered through online means, usually phone.

Carbonomics – a new value system in which financial transactions are informed by an individual’s carbon footprint score.