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Making a meatball sundae of the grass station

The past year has seen some wonderful and bizarre new business buzzwords come to prominence. Among our favorites: subprime, narcissurfing, and meatball sundae.
Duane Hoffmann /
/ Source: contributor

The creation of business buzzwords practically has its own industry. There are books about them, multiple Web sites — and are two of the best — and each year it seems as if more have been added to the lexicon than the last.

Here are some of our favorites that were coined or made famous in 2007.

Grass station
This one is Webster New World Dictionary’s word of the year, defined as a future fuel depot that would dispense ethanol and other veggie-based gas substitutes. We’re presuming that the grass station mini-mart will also have a single tofu dog under the heat lamp that everyone is too scared to eat.

Used in a sentence: "I went to fuel up at the grass station, but they wouldn’t accept my medical marijuana card as ID."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: Not so good. We’ll be lucky if we’re mass-producing SUVs that get 30 miles to the gallon, much less ones that run on alfalfa.

Connectile dysfunction
Brought to the masses by a Sprint cell phone Super Bowl advertisement earlier this year, this is the best buzzword that $2.6 million can buy. It’s defined as the inability to get an Internet connection, usually with a roaming laptop computer or cell phone.

Used in a sentence: "After the Geek Squad guys cured my laptop’s connectile dysfunction, everyone smoked a cigarette."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: The joke’s already getting pretty old. Plus, we’re anticipating there will be better wireless connectivity at all the new grass stations.

Meatball sundae
The title of the latest marketing book from Seth Godin. A meatball sundae is described as the unfortunate result that comes from mixing two really good business ideas.

Used in a sentence: "Come to think of it, adding a social networking element to my retail furniture Web site was kind of a meatball sundae."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: A new marketing book comes along every few minutes, but this cool new coinage has some staying power.

A term used by lonely Second Lifers and other social networkers who roam around online in search of friends. Remember when people would just walk down the street to a bar?

Used in a sentence: "No, Mr. Hansen, you have it all wrong. I didn’t come here looking for sex with a minor. I’m just on a friendquest."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in the year 2017: Pretty slim. By 2017, the technology should exist so people can have robot friends.

This buzzword isn’t exactly new. But the sheer number of stories in the media about subprime mortgages has changed the word from adjective to verb status — loosely defined as the ability to completely dig one’s self into a hole and then expect a bailout.

Used in a sentence: "I completely subprimed my Algebra test yesterday. Instead of studying, I drank beer and played Xbox, and just hoped the answers would come to me. Can I still have an 'A'?"

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in the year 2017: Slim to none. But you’ll definitely be using it in 2008.

Spending a lot of time on the Internet to see how often your name appears and what others are saying about you. It’s another way of saying 'Googling yourself,' although a narcissurfer does it on a daily basis.

Used in a sentence: "You’re such a narcissurfer. You probably think this blog is about you."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: Good. Hopefully by then you’ll have made a bigger mark on the Internet than a half-finished MySpace page and a 142nd-place finish in a 5K fun run.

We already have enough euphemisms for "firing" (layoff, dismissal, redundancy, downsizing, rightsizing …) but every year we add at least one more. Disintermediate is the process of trimming your company by firing middle managers.

Used in a sentence: "Ever since Initech announced its plan to disintermediate, Bill Lumburgh has been regretting his decision to lease that Porsche."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: We’re not going to remember it next month, much less a decade from now.

Shanghai sneeze
When China’s Shanghai stock market plunged nearly 9 percent in one day this year, other markets around the world dropped as well, reminding U.S. investors how vulnerable they are.

Used in a sentence: "The next time a foreign market drops suddenly, let’s all work together and try to think of a better buzzword than 'Shanghai Sneeze.'"

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: Slim to none. If nothing else, it sounds kind of racist.

Ringtone rage
The unfortunate outcome when one person is driven to violence by another person’s pretentious ringtone. Usually the victim is one of those people who lets their phone ring a couple of extra times, just so everyone hears the bridge for "In Da Club."

Used in a sentence: "Your honor, my client would like to plead temporary insanity to these ringtone rage charges. It was caused by a co-worker whose unattended phone kept playing 'Axel Foley’s Theme.'"

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: It depends on whether Lil’ Jon & The East Side Boyz are still recording.

When businesses court bloggers with trips and other perks, hoping for positive coverage. The word gained prominence in a May 2007 Wall Street Journal article that described mommy bloggers who were invited to the set of the CBS show "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

Used in a sentence: "It had nothing to do with blogola. I really did think 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' was the best movie of the year."

Chances we’ll be using this buzzword in 2017: It depends. Do the business buzzword Web sites take blogola?