A friend of mine tweeted that “Mindfulness” and “Emotional intelligence” are meaningless buzzwords.

I liked (hearted?) the tweet, because I dig the fight against fluffy feel-goodisms run rampant, and I appreciate his playful annoyance.  I’m irked by overuse and broad-to-the-point-of-meaningless application of these words too – and several others (“Hack.””Flow.” Barf).

Of course I’ve probably used all of them.  I’ve certainly written and talked about the concepts behind them.

That’s the trouble with buzzwords.  You need words to define concepts.  If you pick a good one, it catches and spreads, often to the point of absurdity.  It become a buzzword.  Or in your search to wordify an idea you can find nothing better than an existing buzzword.  Avoiding it would be ridiculous and complicated.  Communication is best when direct.

I play both sides.  I mock buzzwords and I use them.  I don’t get bent out of shape at linguistic use and abuse because I love words too much to spend my time caging them or attacking overusers.

Don’t take your buzzwords so seriously.  Poke fun.  But don’t take disdain for buzzwords seriously either.  Good ideas sometimes hide behind cheesewords.