Simon Willison’s Weblog


Buzzwords describe what you already intuitively know. At once they snap the ‘kaleidoscopic flux of impressions’ in your mind into form, crystallizing them instantly allowing you to both organize your knowledge and recognize you share it with other. This rapid, mental crystallization is what I call the buzzword whiplash. It gives buzzwords more importance and velocity, more power, than they objectively should have.

The potential energy stored within your mind is released by the buzzword whiplash. The buzzword is perceived as important partially because of what it describes but also because of the social and emotional weight felt when the buzzword recognizes your previously wordless experiences and demonstrates that those experiences are shared.

Drew Breunig