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Tech-Talks: 20 words to make tech people think you’re smart

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If you’re not a technologist – if you know nothing about coding in python, there is a tendency for you to feel insecure where tech anarchists are talking.

If you find yourself in a room full of tech types, however, all is not lost.  Even if you don’t have time to actually learn how to code, you can still employ words technologists use when talking among themselves.

Helpfully, therefore Chris Anderson, a former editor of Wired Magazine and Berkeley-based founder of the Linux Foundation’s Dronecode Project, has assembled an open-source list of the self-aggrandizing mostly scientific words used by tech people.

These are 20 of the best words on Anderson’s list. Use them judiciously around engineers, strats, and new analysts. 

1.  Apoptosize: Instead of die. (“This project needs to apopstize before I do.”)

2.  Activation energy: Instead of trigger. (“My activation energy for this project is low.”)

3. Core dump: Instead of “summary.” (“Ok, let’s have a core dump of where we are now.”)

4.  Decouple/recouple: Instead of “tune in/tune out.” (“Let’s decouple from your issues for a moment.”) 

5. Defrag: Instead of “optimize.” (“Let’s defrag this presentation.”)

6.  Dissonant: Instead of “wrong.” (“I see some dissonance in your model.”)

7. High-dimensional: Instead of “complicated.” (“This is a very high dimensional deal.”)

8. High order bit: Most important thing. (“Slide 65 is the highest order bit in the presentation.”)

9. Impedance matched: Instead of “compatible.” (“These companies are highly impedance matched.”)

10. Invariant: Instead of “no change.” (“This client has proven strangely invariant throughout the process.”) 

11. Non-trivial: Instead of “hard.” (“Delivering this for the deadline will be non-trivial.”) 

12. Orthogonal: Instead of “unrelated.” (“You seem to be making two orthogonal points.”)

13. Over-index: Instead of “bias.” (“I think you’re over-indexing the change in consumer behavior.”)

14. Parse: Instead of understand. (“Let me parse what you’re saying here.”)

15. Phase transition: Instead of a significant and sudden change in state. (“We’re aiming for a phased transition back into the office.”)

16. Re-baseline: To reframe a project (verb). (“I think we need to rebaseline this pitch.”)

17. Resonate: Instead of “agree.” (“This is really resonating with me.”) 

18. Titrate: Instead of “adjust.” (“Can you titrate the model please?”)

19. Valence: Instead of “characteristic.” (“This target has an interesting valence.”)

20. Vector Instead of “send.” (“I am vectoring the fixes”) 


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