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The Coffee Run: Office Power Verbs

January 19, 2011

Coffee Run header

BOOM! Great idea.

One of the most crucial aspects of your internship will probably be how adept you are at making mundane ideas sound like they are groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting, or even universe-detonating. But you don’t need the cocaine peerless zeal of Billy Mays to make a lasting impression on your superiors. All you need is a brutally strong affinity for the following Power Verbs:

Aggregate – To throw together. This is one of my favorites, because all the G’s make it sound like such a titanic struggle. Did the finance department frantically print off 42 pages of a bonobo’s gene sequence before the meeting and pass it off as quarterly report data? No, they did not. They aggregated vital statistics.

Synergize – Just do it. This hideous amalgam is usually invoked to get you and your team on board with an idea that makes little to no sense. When everyone pushes with synchronized energy and no risk evaluation, you’d be amazed how quickly business can move. Which can be good or bad, depending on how close you are to a cliff.

Extrapolate – To completely misinterpret. This is a word you use if your assertions are backed by zero factual evidence. Here’s an example: “You’ll see that, if you extrapolate the numbers from our user surveys – which, admittedly, were filed by four geriatric loons and an individual who spelled “poop' via the answer circles – 20% of our customers reside in Mauritania.'

Leverage – To exploit. If this isn’t in your lexicon already, you’re in for a real treat. In the business world, everything can be leveraged,with or without use of a pulley. If you’re smart,you’ll begin leveraging your knowledge of the word “leverage' to make all your hilarious methods of destroying a marketplace sound like smart investments.

Render – To give. If I hand you a Dum-Dum, I have rendered a candy to your person. One sounds way more intense though, like it requires eight supercomputers working day and night.

Reappropriate – To steal. I’m pretty sure it’s not an actual word, but it gets used fairly often. This is not the same as if you tell an inappropriate joke, then do something that somehow makes the joke appropriate again.

Monetize – Charge the bastards. Some business plans (particularly on the Web) work way better in a rainbow-and-ice-cream-filled dimension wherein nobody pays for anything and employees are paid in moonbeams. Then the realists storm in with kitten-melting death rays, chanting “monetize, monetize' in their sinister dark cloaks.

I know we left out some. List some of your favorite Power Verbs in the comments below.

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