Stadt: Wien (Österreich)

Frist: 2020-01-31


In the management and business world, so-​called buzzwords (or buzz-​terms) and the concepts and ideas conveyed by them spread rapidly. Some of them, such as benchmarking or outsourcing, were already coined in the late 1990s and are well established today. Others, such as smart, internet of things, nudging, greenwashing or energy efficient, are rather new. Due to globalization, other languages and cultures adopt and assimilate these often rather vague buzzwords, which typically originate in the Anglo-​American context. It is likely that they are integrated not only on the linguistic but also on the content level.
In our panel, we will investigate the dissemination and integration of buzzwords by asking to what extent – or whether at all – buzzwords (or their translated equivalents) undergo conceptual and semantic changes. For this purpose, it is essential to take into account the specific linguistic as well as the extra-​linguistic context.
More precisely, using internal and external business communication genres as well as business-​oriented media, we will address the following questions:

  • How are buzzwords integrated into the Romance language sphere? Are they translated or wholly adopted? Do they have the same meaning in different Romance languages (or in comparison to German and/or English)? To what extent are the concepts behind these words influenced by genres, media and the linguistic and cultural context?
  • How are buzzwords used in multimodal texts? How are they expressed visually?
  • Are there areas or industries that are especially “prone” to using buzzwords? Are there industries or departments within companies which tend to use (or translate) exceptionally many buzzwords? Which communicative functions do buzzwords fulfil?

In light of the great variety of European languages, we welcome contributions in any Romance language, as well as in German and English.

Panel convenors: Regina Göke, Sara Matrisciano, Pilar Pérez Cañizares and Johannes Schnitzer

Beitrag von: Pilar Pérez

Redaktion: Christoph Behrens