This year, we’ve decided to clean up our language a little. Far worse than any multitude of classical curse words are the flagrant utterances of corporate marketing speak. Inspired by the annual list released at Lake Superior State, here are five we’re striking from our vocab!

  1. Viral. Contrary to popular thought, viral does not mean “my brother-in-law tweeted about it last night.” For something to go viral means for it to spread rapidly across society (not just the internet) like the swine flu. That’s a tall order, and we’re making no promises!
  2. SEO Optimization. The O already stands for optimization, and the number of times we’ve caught ourselves in this act of redundancy is embarrassing.
  3. Crowd-_______. Crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, crowd-driven, etc. are all culprits. If the last couple years of headlines have taught us anything, it’s that crowds are scary.
  4. User-centric. A shamefully useless way of saying this [website, app, product] should be useful to people using it.
  5. Brand-driven. Be the brand. Live the brand. Serve the brand. Brands are good, but placing “brand” obsessively into every conversation is not.

“Alright Team, listen up! This week we’re going to implement a paradigm shift toward a brand-driven, user-centric marketing strategy by crowd-sourcing a new viral video campaign on YouTube, so we can take advantage of their SEO optimization.”
– That marketing guy who annoys you.