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Decoding the Latest Business Buzzwords

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By Marshall Loeb

RISMEDIA, August 9, 2008-(MCT)-Buzzwords have always been a part of the business 89_5web.jpglexicon. But just like street slang, the language of business changes. For instance, today’s business words are heavily influenced by the technological times we live in.

From Megan Aemmer of MSN Encarta, here are some popular buzzwords to help you decode the jargon of today’s business world:

- Offline. You speak to someone offline when you need to talk with them in person or by phone rather than via e-mail or instant message. It can surface in a meeting or conference call, when some sensitive or long-winded issue comes up that can be discussed more privately or efficiently without the group, as in “Let’s take that offline, after the meeting.”

- Ping. Also pinging. If you need to get someone’s attention, you “ping” them, usually via e-mail or instant message. Before the Internet, “ping” was used to describe the sound of a submarine’s sonar. An example: “When you get the chance, ping him for his contact information.”

- Deep dive. When someone asks you to do a deep dive, they’re asking for more in-depth information. This pops up frequently in research or consulting services. The phrase “drill down” can also be used in a similar context: “We did a deep dive of that telecom company, but we still need to drill down on their margins.”

- Bandwidth. In computer science, digital bandwidth refers to the capacity of the system to transfer data over a connection. But in the world of business jargon, bandwidth refers to a person’s available time to complete a task. “My bandwidth is getting too sapped by the January report” or “I don’t have the bandwidth to work on another report right now.”

© 2008, MarketWatch.com Inc.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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