It’s been a big week for words. The national Spelling Bee was held this week in Maryland and went down to the wire in a late-night showdown between 12-year-old Ananya Vinay and 14-year-old Rohan Rajeev. Vinay emerged victorious and took home the $40K prize after successfully spelling the word “marocain.”
For those wondering, marocain is a dress fabric made of ribbed crêpe.
And while spelling addicts were doubtlessly enthralled – marocain will not be the most famous word to come out of this week.
No, that honor will almost certainly go to covfefe.
What is covfefe?
Well, that has pretty much been the topic of the week as the internet at large wracked its imaginations to figure out what President Trump meant when he Tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”
Is it a typo (yes, it is a typo)? A secret code to the Russians? A new piece of slang that we’ve all yet to hear about? Performance art? Is President Donald Trump officially trolling us all now? (also yes, especially given his followup Tweet: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe”? Enjoy!”).
And those who were not trying to figure out covfefe made good use of the middle of the week having fun with it. There were many excellent responses, but the best one came from Merriam-Webster on Twitter (not surprisingly).
We can’t improve upon that, and we won’t try.
But it did get us to thinking – we need some words for payments and commerce to better describe our world around us.
So we came up with some …
AE [also known as Artificial Empowerment]: When the AI assistant one is using decides to up the level of its game, usually in an annoying fashion.
Used in a sentence: Artificial intelligence that lets me order a pizza is great, Allo feeling a bit empowered and taking the initiative to order a pizza because she heard a Domino’s commercial is less great.
Further Reading: Google Home Activated By Burger King Ad
Bitcult : The persistent belief that bitcoin is the penultimate currency and the 8th wonder of the financial services world, when it’s most popular use case is as a payment method for cybercriminals.
Used in a sentence: Don’t make the bitcult angry by suggestion bitcoin will not replace fiat currency – you’d be surprised at how many of them are good at launching DDoS attacks.
Further Reading: Wanna Cry? Why It’s Time To Come Down On Bitcoin
Expunnel Vision: The belief that growth is the most important thing for start-ups trying to get a footing in the world – profits will obviously come later … somehow.
Used in a sentence: Expunnel vision could definitely get you customers, but getting you continued funding and a real business requires a business model – a real one that makes money.
Further Reading: Ubernomics And The Power Of Magical Thinking
Deja Vation: The latest, newest variation on a familiar theme – and speaking of it as if it is new.
Used in a sentence: Wow, you’re launching a rewards program – way to embrace 2005’s favorite deja vation.
Further reading: So You Want To Do A Loyalty Program, Why?
Godotruptions: Disruptive innovations that are supposed to change the marketplace and the way we live our lives, that never quite deliver on that promise. Named for the Samuel Beckett play “Waiting for Godot” – about two characters who spend the play waiting for Godot, who never shows.
Used in a sentence: Mobile phones used as substitutes for plastic cards turned out to be a total godotruption.
Further Reading: An Inconvenient Apple Pay Truth
Groupsink: A result of groupthink, the result of investors dropping a lot of money into something they really don’t understand that well, and getting burned as a result.
Used in a sentence: Theranos investors probably should have asked a few more questions before groupsinking their money into something that is highly technical in nature.
Further Reading: The Dangers Of Groupthink
iClone : The newest, sharpest smartphone innovation – that kind of looks a lot like an iPhone.
Used in a sentence: I want to get excited about the Pixel phone, but it is a bit of an iClone.
Further Reading: Pixel, The Good, The Bad And The Weird
Non Botquitur : When one asks a chatbot a question, and the answer they get bears no relationship to reality or is just nonsense.
Used in a sentence: If I get one more non botquitur from this stupid weather cat I’m going to pitch my laptop out this window.
Further reading: Should Payments Jump On The Bot Bandwagon
Profitablish: Usually a consequence of expunnel vision, profitablish companies are not making a profit, but in a variety of fundraising scenarios talking about the ways in which they are kind of, almost, sort of basically profitable – in some places, at some times.
Used in a sentence: Yeah, we’re profitablish if you take a look at how we are doing in these three merchants over the last five days.
Further Reading: The Curse Of The Start-Up Cool Kids
Refail – Generic term for the bankruptcies, store closings and general state of disarray that is brick-and-mortar retail these days.
Used in a sentence: It’s easy to blame them, but refail is caused by a lot more than Amazon.com existing.
Further Reading: The Coming Physical Retail Death Spiral
Ubernomics : The notion that platforms are easy to create and ignite, despite all evidence to the contrary, spawning an entire crop of “Uber of X’s”
Used in a sentence: The problem with Ubernomics is it ignores the fundamental facts of life for multisided platform businesses – they are the hardest businesses to start, ignite and scale – and for every Uber, there are 1,000 wannabes that never, ever make it.
Further Reading: Payments Next Big Thing, The Uber Of Nothing
We expect you will begin using these in your day-to-day life accordingly.
Think we forgot one? We’d love to add to this list which, really, is just a bunch of covfefe. Tweet us your word to @PYMNTS and what it means, with the hashtag #PYMNTSNewSpeak.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Source: http://www.pymnts.com – Payments
PYMNTS New Speak (Covfefe Sold Separately)