language

The Thinkshionary

Thinkshift | September 12, 2016

The Thinkshionary is our compilation of in-house coined words, which we add to as the neologisms seize us. Linked words are defined more fully in individual posts. Feel free to suggest additions.

acadrivel: smart-sounding nonsense forming a word curtain around pedestrian or incomplete thoughts, giving them an aura (the writer hopes) of eggheady depth.

assumple: a cross between an assumption and an example. “Jane looked diligently for hard proof to back up John’s claims but all she found in his article were a lot of assumples.”

bither: to bother in a tentative way, or in the background: “This question has been bithering me all day but I still don’t have an answer.”

brain flurries: quick, scattered ideas of uncertain utility or applicability. They tend to happen after too much stimulation or, conversely, as a result of mental fatigue. “She’d had too much coffee this morning and hit me with a barrage of brain flurries as soon as I walked in the door” or “I think we need to let this rest for a while; all I have left are brain flurries.” 

brainstory: a brainstorm with a narrative arc, or a story that exists solely in your head. Var.: A story you have in your brain that may bear little relationship to reality.

comment sin: an uneditable comment that you regret (comes from a Freudian typo).

demongraphics: TBD (or, you tell us).

kerfluffle: A kerfuffle (only one l) is a commotion, disturbance or fuss; the two-l kerfluffle is the same, but it’s much ado about nothing. “It was just a big kerfluffle—turns out he was talking about the New York Giants.” 

inspiriting: describing something that goes beyond inspiring to imbue a sense of excitement or reinvigoration: “The new revenue projections are definitely inspiriting. The end of our slump is near!”

kunch: a midday meal that knocks you out: “Wow, that was some kunch yesterday. I couldn’t think straight for the rest of the day.” Alternatively, a lunch squeezed into crunch time.

mindfall: a mental hazard, a dangerous pit or landscape that will push your thinking completely the wrong way if you wander into it; mindfall can also refer to the experience of that happening. “That aspect of the project is a mindfall—the obvious approach is not going to work” or “You must have had a real mindfall developing that creative brief if you had to start over halfway through.” Also our house cocktail.

puffloading: cramming marketing or PR copy with meaningless blather words and statements that are grandiose, unprovable, or just this side of false advertising.

resultiness: Resultiness (with a nod to Stephen Colbert) describes conclusions or measurements of a branding, marketing or PR initiative that don’t quite have the concrete basis one would like. “I think it’s a good idea, but the best we can promise is resultiness.” It’s often used critically: “The measurements of the past campaign are rife with resultiness. They sound impressive, but they don’t mean anything, and we can’t set up a comparison.” “Those case study conclusions are just a lot of resultiness.”

thinkbomb: a “suggestion” (read: idée fixe) from out of left field that requires going back to the beginning of a project, phase or discussion. “The new VP threw out a thinkbomb—it might push out the launch. I’ll tell you about it after my medication kicks in.”

word curtain: a string of words that hides rather than illuminates. When encountering a word curtain, you may feel a vague sense that there is meaning within, and that you may be able to find it if you just think hard enough. Your mental effort will most likely be wasted—word curtains are impenetrable.

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