The Microsoft vocabulary

[Updated 5/10: Added a new word, didn't want to create a new post just for that one word.]

Adam picked up on my usage of 'open the kimono'[1], which reminded me that I've been meaning to blog a little bit about the somewhat odd vocabulary that once seemed so strange but is now a part of my daily life. Plus, today I learned a new phrase that I wanted to share.

The new phrase from today is an FLA (that's a four-letter TLA): FUIR. F'd Up In Reverse. This refers to when you did a really good job on a project or deliverable, and so therefore you are called upon later to do something else. If you hadn't done such a darn good job in the first place, no one would have bugged you.

Buzzword bingo: At the company meeting in 98, one of the devs in the Outlook team wrote an app that printed out a few hundred bingo cards with various phrases on them - some technical, some popular execu-speak from that time (I think that was the year of “Information at your fingertips“), and some others just in pop culture that year. As we listened to each executive talk, we crossed off the buzzwords and the first one to cross an entire row off was to jump up and yell “BINGO!!!“. I got screwed, though - the center block in my bingo card was “stain on dress“ and unfortunately neither Bill nor Steve nor Bob said that phrase. Aw, shucks.

Crispify: I heard this for the first time today but I knew exactly what it meant. Synonymous with clarify, or disambiguate.

“Let's take this offline“: I use this a lot, and I still find it pretty amusing to be in an offline setting such as a meeting, but use this phrase in order to talk about taking things out of the meeting.

S+ or Sched+: I don't think we'll ever banish this from the lingo. Schedule+ hasn't existed as a product for many years, and yet most softies (even people who joined the company long after S+ stopped existing) refer to scheduling meetings as Sched-plus. The typical usage is something like this: “Ess Plus me on that.“ In 98 or 99, a few testers on Outlook tried valiantly to get the company to use the phrase “outcal“, but it never caught on.

Threadectomy: This is the act of forking a thread by replying to something other than the most recent one in the thread. A big no-no!

Brown number: “Bob, how long is that going to take to test?“ “3 weeks.“ “That sounds like a brown number to me.“ “Brown number? What's that?“ “It's a number you pull out of um... um.. anyway...“

And of course, the various Microspeak lexicons around the web have a self-fulfilling aspect... I first heard the term 'grandmanager' on one of those lists, and have since started using it because I like it so much.