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BAFFLE-GAB THESAURUS

MAIN SCHOLAR• BAFFLE-GAB THESAURUS

As any self-respecting bureaucrat knows, it is bad form indeed to use a single, simple word when six or seven obfuscating ones will do.

But where is the Washington phrasemaker to turn if he is hung up for what Horace called "words a foot and a half long"? Simple. Just glance at the Systematic Buzz Phrase Projector, or S.B.P.P.

The S.B.P.P. has aptly obscure origins but appears to come from a Royal Canadian Air Force listing of fuzzy phrases. It was popularized in Washington by Philip Broughton, a U. S. Public Health Service official, who circulated it among civil servants and businessmen. A sort of mini-thesaurus of baffle-gab, it consists of a three-colum list of 30 overused but appropriately portentous words. Whenever a GS-14 or deputy assistant secretary needs an opaque phrase, he need only think of a three digit number-any one will do as well as the next-and select the corresponding "buzz words" from the three columns. For example, 257 produces Systematized logistical projection," which has the ring of absolute authority and means absolutely nothing.

Broughton's baffle-gab guide:

A

0) Integrated

1) Total

2) Systematized

3) Parallel

4) Functional

5) Responsive

6) Optional

7) Synchronized

8) Compatible

9) Balanced

B

Management

Organizational

Monitored

Reciprocal

Digital

Logistical

Transitional

Incremental

Third-Generation

Policy

C

Options

Flexibility

Capability

Mobility

Programming

Concept

Time-Phase

Projection

Hardware

Contingency

As this was originally written in 1968, you can see that it is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to ad as needed!

   
 
Copyright 2001 Northwind