Name your acronym or word? – Stuff Bureaucrats Say –

Home Forums Miscellaneous Name your acronym or word? – Stuff Bureaucrats Say –

This topic contains 22 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 9 years, 1 month ago.

  • Author
  • #157328

    Mark Hammer

    This adorable little 90-second video has captured the wry imagination of Canadian public servants. I don’t know how many of the acronyms will be immediately familiar to our American cousins, but the “spirit of buraucratic culture” will most assuredly ring many a bell, and extract many a smile. Enjoy!

    What do you think bureaucrats say? What’s your favorite acronym or word or hearing your say?

  • #157372

    Steve Ressler


    Ref folder

  • #157370

    Mark Hammer

    Thanks for moving it up, Steve.

    What I suspect many won’t know is that the bus stop the little girl is standing at (as she buries herself in her Blackberry) is one located at one of the major government hubs in Ottawa, like what I suppose a bus stop along Pennsylvania Ave, between 7th and 3rd might be like to you folks.

  • #157368

    Look, if the claimant went back to work then she may qualify for a new BYB, but at a lower WBA. The 607B indicator can’t be changed except by the central office which might choose to give her the BY option. IBIS won’t let you change that even if you’re an FOS.

  • #157366

    Daniel Honker

    I’m not sure I would call these my “favorites”, but here are some that stick in my craw 🙂

    “Best practice” — Can we really know that something is a BEST practice? This seems to hearken back to the days of Taylorism and time and motion studies, when managers would look for the “one best way” to accomplish a task (usually in manual labor). How about we all take a dose of humility and call them “good practices”.

    “Leverage” when used as a verb — When we say this, we usually mean to use something for your benefit. Why don’t we say “use” instead? “Utilize” is similar. It means absolutely the same thing as “use”, but we insist on using the bigger word.

  • #157364

    John van Santen

    FYSA (For Your Situational Awareness)

  • #157362

    Steve Ressler


  • #157360

    Jon P. Bird

    BYOB has always worked for me!

  • #157358

    Corey McCarren

    The only acronym in this list that I’ve ever heard of!

  • #157356

    Amazingly cute. Unfortunately, I recognize too many even if they are Canadian.

    I try really hard not to use them, but sometimes writing the whole thing out over and over again becomes cumbersome. If only people would come up with smaller titles for groups or activities so you didn’t have to write so much out. Now when you name something, you have to check what the acronym will be so you don’t inadvertantly end up with something inappropriate or a bad connotation.

    Texting is almost always a form of shorthand acronyms. I’m learning a whole new language. I think that is my favorite right now is learning that language. Maybe someone will do a video where the person is speaking in text subtitles.

  • #157354


    They forgot a couple: “I’m out of pocket” (meaning, for some odd reason, “I’m unavailable”)
    “impacted” (meaning, “affected,” and not, “pressed against each other” as in impacted wisdom teeth)
    and everything having to do with management, such as “up the chain,” “buy-in,” “silos,” etc.

    Otherwise, it’s pretty true to life.

  • #157352

    Janice Hawkins

    Disconnect – when information needed for a project is lost or lack of information makes a project fail

    “What’s the push back”? How is someone you have challenged about their project, ability or information going to retaliate and is it worth the risk?

  • #157350

    Janice Hawkins

    I’m always tempted to say best practice for who?

  • #157348

    Anne R. Urbanski

    RACT, BACT, GACT, MACT – all EPA acronyms that state and local air agencies use too. But my absolute favorite is NESHAPs – National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. I tend to turn everything into a song parody, so the obvious one to me is Shadrack, NESHAPs and Abednego.

  • #157346

    Mark Oehlert

    Let’s see who knows these:




    Not acronym but still:

    Roger ball

    Lost the bubble

  • #157344

    Rita Boland

    One of my favorites is “robust” as in “robust solution” or “robust capability.” I don’t think it actually means anything, but it does make every term sound better!

  • #157342

    Dennis Stransky

    Can I buy a vowel?

  • #157340

    Steve Ressler

    I like out of packet

  • #157338

    Pattie Buel

    Been working with some folks lately who have never been around the military. Have caught myself explaining –

    “that ship has sailed”

    “Any alibis?” before ending the meeting

    but have not had to explain – “SNAFU”, “FUBAR” and “RUFKM?!” Wonder why.

  • #157336

    James Miceli

    “Out of pocket” is perhaps the worst government expression. What does it even mean? How was it invented?

    Major LOL on the “impacted.” Government is great at using a nonsensical word when a totally normal one would do.

  • #157334

    Carol Davison

    how do you document peole not getting back with your or not sending what you requested?

  • #157332

    Keena Cauthen

    “Look, if the claimant went back to work then she may qualify for a new BYB, but at a lower WBA. The 607B indicator can’t be changed except by the central office which might choose to give her the BY option. IBIS won’t let you change that even if you’re an FOS.”

    Great job Christopher Whitaker! I love it!. I just have to say that this reminds me of Robin Williams great speech in Good Morning America, where he is talking about the VP being such a VIP, keeping it on the QT, etc, etc… (and yes, this is paraphrased, as I’m not as good as my husband at quoting verbatim something I heard years ago.) 🙂

  • #157330

    Keena Cauthen

    My favorite acronyms lately are CRDP and CRSC… why? Because I hear folks actually making words out of them, instead of just calling it C.R.D.P. they say curdep and instead of C.R.S.C they say cursek. Mind you, those of us in the trenches working day in and day out with these, as well as basic MRP, just use the initials, so you can easily tell the working bees from the dreamers of the regs.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.