Archive for September, 1998
Management Speak: We are not interested in helping the users here. We are only interested in clearing the help desk queue. IS Survivalist Howard Wexler and I agree that no translation will do justice to this sentiment.
Years ago, I used to tell a joke with no punch line. It went, “How many vendors does it take to print a memo?” For us, at the time, the answer was 10: (1) IBM – PC; (2) Microsoft – DOS; (3) Automenu – DOS menuing front end; (4) WordPerfect – word processor; (5) Synoptics […]
ManagementSpeak: That violates our standards. Translation: We don’t know how to do that. IS Survivalist William B. Adams clarifies the purpose of standards.
In twenty-five words or less, what business value did you gain from your last operating system upgrade? A return on investment (ROI) analysis is an acceptable substitute. Can’t do it in twenty-five words? Sorry, that’s all you get. Business leaders don’t have time for more than a few bullet points on any subject such as […]
Management speak: “Can’t you just … ?” Translation: I need it solved, and I can’t afford a complicated solution. This week’s translator couldn’t afford to be attributed
A CIO of my acquaintance once described his priorities for the new megasystem his developers were busily constructing. “What I want is the database,” he said. Waving his hands disparagingly, he added, “I don’t much care about the applications that feed it.” Guess what? His system never got built, and he didn’t last two years […]
“Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.” – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
Nearly two decades ago I presented an excruciatingly dull paper (“Quantitative Analysis of Electrical and Overt Behavior of the Electric Fish Brienomyrus niger,” if memory serves) at the Animal Behavior Society’s annual conference, held that year at Tulane University. While there I met a researcher who claimed to have demonstrated rudimentary speech in parrots. Not […]