Monthly Archives: April 2010

HR breeds euphemisms

The information technology industry (which has employed me since 1994) is commonly accused of being the main culprit when it comes to jargon and buzzword bingo. Sure, it is the worst when it comes to three letter acronyms (TLAs). But for weasel words you really can’t go past human resources professionals.

I was reminded of this a while ago by Twitter contact @samotage who tweeted ‘HR peeps sure have some interesting terms, Embedding, Warehousing, Resource etcetera’.

Alignment, engagement, onboarding anyone? I know I’ve mentioned some of these terms here before, in relation to a software system we used to have at work called the ‘Alignment Tool’, which sounded like an instrument of torture to me.

Here’s a fantastic glossary of HR terms – read it and weep folks. And HR is supposed to be all about PEOPLE?


English translations of Korean names

Last week I read a book called Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands (the edition for Asia). A colleague recommended it to me a few years ago when I first started looking after PR in a few countries in Asia. Overall I found it really interesting, and I would definitely pull it out again if I ever travel to any of the countries included in it.

One tip included has already come in handy:

Note that Korean family names can be transliterated into English in several ways; in English, the surname might be Rhee, Yi, Li, or Lee.

This week I was searching an internal database at work for two reporters in Korea. I found both in the system each with five different spellings of their name. The family names were “Rew” or “Ryu”; and “Yun” or “Yoon” and there were also alternative spellings of their given and/or generational names.

It seems silly now, but I probably wouldn’t have realised they were all the same person before.