Monthly Archives: March 2010

Weasel Word Wednesday #12: Mumtrepreneur

OK, maybe this doesn’t quite count as a ‘weasel word’ but it irritated me this week so I’m posting it anyway.

I love seeing how people refer to themselves in their mini bios on their blogs and social media sites like Twitter. Some are afraid to admit who they are and where they live, so leave it blank. Some are plain and factual. Some humble. Some display an ego beyond comprehension. And others describe themselves in terms that may seem exotic but aren’t.

The other day I saw someone who called herself a ‘Mumtrepreneur’. I know I have seen this term used before, but suddenly it grated. It begs the question – are there also Dadtrepreneurs? Or are they all confident enough to call themselves an entrepreneur without having to define themselves by their family role or reproductive status? Given that (say) 75 percent of women are mothers at some stage of their life, is there anything unusual about being a Mumtrepreneur? Why would someone call themselves this?

Weasel Word Wednesday #11 – synergy

This one comes as a suggestion from my PR industry colleague Emma in Hong Kong. I’m so glad to hear the plague of corporate speak is evenly spread across the globe!

Synergy. In my view this word doesn’t belong in business. I know it has various scientific uses and that’s fine. My reasoning is that it is not specific enough. ‘Synergy’ is used to refer to some kind of benefit resulting from combining two different groups, people, objects or processes or having them work together in some way. So it could mean just about anything. Let’s instead talk about exactly what is being done instead of just ‘creating synergy’. Between what? and for what benefit?

However it gets worse when it becomes a verb (to synergise) or an adjective (synergistic). Taking a nice line from Don Waton’s original Weasel Words book:

Love and marriage,

synergise like a horse and carriage.

Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?