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Top 5 Bozo Bit Phrases in Email

Dare Obsanjo: "Top 5 Bozo Bit Phrases in Email - What are yours?"

1: "It seems..." - Accusation. Translation: I think you are wrong, but I lack the conviction to speak plainly. To obtain plausible deniability, I'll qualify myself from the outset. Variant form - "I'm surprised"

2: "Hmm." - Grandstanding. Translation: you are wrong and I am going to counter your point; yes, I am thinking about this issue very deeply, clearly much more deeply that you are. Variant form - 'Um'.

3: "Erm."- Indirect ad hominem. You're wrong or a fool, but I don't have the guts to tell you straight up, so I'll pretend to be puzzled by what you're saying. Variant form - "huh?".

4: "Is there a problem..." - Fire and motion. Translation: I'm putting you on the backfoot on this one by framing an accusation as an innocuous question; I don't really care about a solution, as long as you're tied up framing a response.

5: A long cc list. Premptive escalation. Translation: I'm politicizing this mail by enlisting people who can or might affect your perception of what the undesirable outcome might be unless I get what I want.

Obsanjo focused on buzzwords. The above I find more general to the medium of email. Another one would be any expression of "concern", but that's not particular to email.

July 31, 2006 11:39 PM


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