Day four at VMWorld was short for me due to poor planning on my part--my flight out of Las Vegas at noon. I entered the show early yesterday when it was mostly just the vendors hanging around waiting for the hoard to arrive. I walked through the floor with the goal of seeing a couple of vendors I hadn't seen earlier in the show. What I overheard while walking through was a gaggle of buzzwords: Cloud, VDI, Appliances, Infrastructure, Refresh, and numerous TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).

I sighed and rolled my eyes when I heard some of these--I'm guessing just to entertain myself because there was hardly anyone else around. People use these terms often without a clue as to what they mean or their origin--they just know they're supposed to say them.

It drives me freakin' crazy!

The next time I hear some technology repackaged into some ridiculous buzzword, I'm going to walk straight up to the culprit and ask, "Can you explain <buzzword> to me?" I'll then stare at them with childlike innocence whilst they fumble for words and start to paw at their documentation or even perhaps tell me that their "expert" just walked away.

These terms remind me of corporate speak where old terms are repackaged to sound modern and techish. Here are some of my favorites:

Soup to Nuts
End to End
Technology Refresh
Strategic Partnership
Cloud Computing
The Cloud
Difficult Decisions

And several more that escape memory right now.

By the fourth day, I was tired; tired of hearing buzzwords, tired of people ignoring me (technically) because I had on a Press badge, and tired of geeks who are there just to dispense their awesome knowledge of technology X to vendors. They don't want to hear what you know--they are there to sell you something--to tell you about their products and services--and to overuse industry buzzwords in delivering that message.

Ok, so this post is more about airing my neuroses and annoyances with tech buzzwords than the actual meat of the show but there is a point here: Just plain talk has more substance than a sentence full of empty buzzwords. So, stop it. But if you do stop it, you'd better have something substantial to say to me, or anyone, about your product or service that has real substance.

I appreciate straight talk from vendors and from large companies in general. Why can't you just say what it is you want to say without all the fluff?

To assist you in interpreting these terms, I've created the Buzzword Dictionary for your reference.