Friday, April 12, 2013

Words and Meanings


I must have a few wires crossed in my brain (What do you mean – this is the first time you are hearing about my having a brain? I cannot be responsible for your ignorance). These crossed wires seem to mess up the meanings of quite a few words for me. They are especially active when it comes to the new age words.

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There is this term ‘Go-getter’ used with great respect and awe. For some unknown reason, this term always evokes the image of a sniffing, pointy-nosed dog – retrievers, they call them I think – in my mind. You know that sort, don’t you? “Jimmy, Go get that ball” and off goes Jimmy racing after the ball, comes back with it triumphantly and sits on its haunches happily wagging its tail till you feed it that dog-biscuit or bone. Now, maybe, the wires are not all that crossed. I mean, from what I understand, a “Go-getter” is the chap to whom you say things like “Jimmy! Go get that sales order” and off he goes, gets it successfully and comes back slavering for his raise or promotion. At that, the dog has the better deal – he is surer of getting instant rewards in the form of bones or dog-biscuits.

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When it comes to ‘Team-player’, however, you really cannot blame me. I mean, how am I to get the meaning if all of you will use it mainly in the negative sense. You say “He is not a team-player” more often and you say it when you mean “He does not spend the evening downing beer with the boys” to “He is rude enough to point out when the team is making a mistake” to “He does not laugh at our jokes”. Now, if I am to work out the meaning of ‘Team-player’ from that, am I to understand that a Team-player “gets passing-out drunk with the boys” or “makes all the mistakes we make and a couple more for originality” or “laughs so much at my every utterance that he makes me feel like Jim Carrey’?

To me, a “Team-player” is the chap who would rather hide his scintillating genius behind the team and not be singled out for the firing squad. An effective “Team Leader” is the chap who can let the team take the credit for any cock-ups while manfully shouldering the blame for a good job done.

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I know that a heterosexual gets turned on by the members of the opposite sex and a homosexual gets turned on by members of the same sex. I even know of transsexuals who get turned on by the dress of the opposite sex. But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out what a ‘metro-sexual’ is? Gets turned on by the metro? Exits a metro train after an hour’s ride looking all dreamy-eyed, flushed and languorous? Is the increasing number of metro-sexuals the reason why there is such a clamor for a metro in every city?

If I am to go by ads – the only source of ‘authentic’ information I have – a metro-sexual man is someone who makes up for what he cannot do with girls by getting turned on by bikes, cars or clothing. If in the mood for S&M, he goes over and gets his chest and legs waxed. A metro-sexual woman has it even easier – she just gets turned on by male deodorants.

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The problem with all these words is that their meanings are experiential. So, if your experience varies from mine that does not invalidate my definition. There are lots of other such words – most of which escape me now – and, as soon as I can lasso a few, I shall be back with samples from the rest of my dictionary.

If you liked this you may like to check out the index of other posts of this genre or read a selection of similar posts.

52 comments:

  1. Hey, we could be the last of a fading race. The new age is so cliched and pathetic. Don't go fretting for the crossed wires, they are meant to be that way. Oh, the new generation is gone wireless, haven't they?

    About those terms, do I hate them, man?

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    1. We very probably are the last Uma :)

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    2. Last of the fading race- check. Not that I mind...

      Dagny

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    3. You don't mind being a part of a fading race or you don't mind this race fading away, Dagny? :)

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  2. Good to see you starting to take digs at the corporate world. Many of us who are still within the matrix can not afford to. So good to see ones like you who are out of it taking the lead.

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    1. Someone certainly has to - one cannot ignore such a rich source of hilarity :)

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  3. The MBA jargon has been done to death. You are bang on. A 'Go Getter' is actually Tommy who gets rewarded instantly in any organization. I know of one Go Getter in UPA......Diggy.
    Did you hear of Himbo the male counterpart of Bimbo?

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    1. Hmm! I am a bit out of it, it appears :) Himbo is a new one on me :)

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  4. I am starting to really enjoy your 'having fun at corporate expense' kind of posts! Of course, I don't know if metro-sexual fits within the corporate realm, but people have all these phrases nowadays, I have to remember to jot down new ones that my husband talks about. I would love to hear what comes to your mind when you hear those phrases!

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    1. Love to get that list from your husband, Deepa :) Anything to avoid the effort of thinking up new posts :)

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  5. Good one Suresh ...would love to read more samples of strike of your pen !I just noticed you won Sunsilk contest , CONGO !

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    1. Thanks Alka! Let me see if I can find more words to play around with :)

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  6. Hehheh....classic Suresh questions! I have a few more that are pure gems of phrases too.
    Low Hanging Fruit
    Sensitize and Internalize. In fact, any word with 'ize' at the end of it
    The Townhall Meeting

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    1. Ahem! you writing about them or shall I, Rickie? :)

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    2. One phrase that our 'new' CEO uses a lot is "socializing" as in "socializing a thought'.

      It always used to irritate me to hear from him (but then the guy irritates me all the time) but was not prepared for the shock I got when one of our original founders (sober, down to earth guy) used that in context of his exit!

      Apparently he and the CEO have been socializing the thought for a while before they decided to part ways. Socializing to me brings up an image of people having a good time and not in the context of how one will be let go (will you willingly put your head under the guillotine or do I have to run after you and hack you?)

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    3. This goes one step further Shiva! It is like we have a nice little bash and enjoy ourselves with the grand finale of the party being your chopping off my head - and a good time was had by all :)

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  7. Metrosexual -- the term was coined to make awkward men who do woman like things or have womanly tastes feel comfortable like SRK, yuck :). If my husband wanted to visit parlors, pluck his eyebrows, waxed his body and wore shimmery shirt, I would end up leaving him. Go-getter, okay that is Coco for me, always running off to catch balls and I mean the playing kinds :). And you know that joke about vegetarian loves to eat veggies; non-vegetarian loves non-veg hence humanitarian loves to eat :).

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    1. That's the lot this time Rachna :) You have rung the change on every one of them :)

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  8. You remind me of my annual appraisal where the words 'Go-getter' and 'team-player' are generously peppered and yet the bonus and hike are non-existent.

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    1. Maybe you are supposed to go get them as well - elsewhere :)

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  9. I wish I hadn't read this one while at work :P

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  10. Very informative,tell us more--my vocabulary is almost primeval!

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    1. As soon as I add words to my own vocabulary :)

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  11. A go getter post which has high doses of Metrohumor.

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    1. You are a team=player Farida :) You laugh at everything I say :)

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    2. This made me smile! Best to you.. :)

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  12. Interesting! Though I know what "go getter" and " team player" both means, I am stuck up with the word " metro -sexual" . And I had to take you definition of it . Nice !

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    1. Hmmm! If I continue for long enough maybe my definitions will enter the Webster's dictionary :)

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  13. And the metrosexual male is also supposed to have 8 pack abs. Since he has waxed his stomach, his abs appear as 8 wonderful hills.
    Another word that I would like to highlight is 'Passionate'. I don't know why but it reminds me of porn and brings in all kind of wrong images.

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    1. Hahaha! I am going shamelessly plagiarize your and Rickie's comments for a post :)

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  14. Interesting. Time you opened another section in your blog with your dictionary

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    1. For now i will stick to my sections - time enough to think of it when I have enough posts on the matter :)

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  15. The first line about your brain was rocking SUresh ha ha ha :) God! You are unbelievable! Corporate world can kill you with these words, seriously!

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    1. By now you must have stopped believing me :)

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  16. I work in the field of social sciences and let me tell you that social scientists are experts in coining words that can bamboozle you like no other. Some of the words and terms that are used to death and on my current hate list are: capacity building, clarity of purpose, paradigm, cumulative deprivation, and a new one that I came across a few days back — debottlenecking ! Try to beat that one :-)

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    1. I won't try to beat them Sudha! I will write a post about them all :)

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  17. Ha ha ! Loved the metrosexual one !! That should be included in the FB list now - i think i read FB introduced 51 gender options...
    Corporate jargons can really knock the wind out of your sails..

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    1. 51? And metro-sexual is NOT there? :) Ash! You have taken the wind out of my sails :)

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  18. I especially like your interpretation of metro sexual. Actually, I think you are correct!

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    1. Hahaha! NOW I must make sure to watch carefully when I travel by metro!

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