It’s not uncommon for people to say “I don’t like that word — it’s overused.” For example, I think the word “synergy” may have gotten burned out back in the 90s or so. Words like “strategy” and others are today’s victims.
It is important to be original. We should continually be coming up with new ways of saying important things. That not only keeps things interesting, but also advances thinking and stimulates new ideas.
Let’s just not forget that the concepts behind the words that we feel are over-used usually remain valid and significant. Don’t let the concepts be devalued in your mind because you don’t like hearing the words again and again.
And if the bulk of things in your life need to be new in order to be meaningful, you are going to get exhausted. Because even the concept of “newness” can become old. Avoiding cliches can become cliche.
And in the meantime, you’ll also be left with a reduced vocabulary for communication. Buzzwords came to exist for a reason: they do communicate something. Every field has its jargon — the medical field, sports, the business world, the world of work. Without buzzwords, there are certain things that are going to be more complicated to explain, wasting time.
Come up with new, un-buzzword-like ways of saying things continually. But you can’t reinvent the whole field of buzzwords at once. You will always have to use them in some way or another.
The problem is when people use buzzwords without really understanding what they mean, as an attempt to appear credible simply because they’ve used a certain word. That’s ugly, and to be avoided. But the intelligent, thoughtful use of a buzzword sometimes is what keeps the ideas clear and facilitates effective conversation. Maybe, when used in that way, they aren’t even buzzwords after all.
This is probably a bit of risky post — it sounds like I’m devaluing the concept of newness and originality. But I’m saying the opposite: namely, let’s make sure we don’t become unoriginal in our opposition to lack of originality.