One of my favorite games to play in the office is a little game I like to call Culture Bait Boomerang.
English is a wonderful language and one of its assets is that it has a sizable capacity to incorporate foreign culture and vocabulary into itself. This federation of culture, as well as the language’s multifaceted origins, make it a fine medium for playing one of mes jeux favorites.
“Culture Games” employ taboo as sociological norms to determine peer group boundaries; i.e. social cliques that are generally stratified and have little overlap with one another. Overlapping social groups consist of “culture jammers” that defy the demographic taxonomy that defines conventional social norms.
This can help to identify cultural arcs or trails that connect individuals and bind them together in a small social network.
For example, making up a ‘legitimate sounding” word – but one that is ultimately unconventional and perhaps completely fictitious – and using it in a meeting with co-workers, to seed the minds of a large number of people simultaneously.
Then wait for it to come back.
An important part of this is to not let on when you hear it come back to you. I liken it to the feeling of finding a lost pet. You’re just walking back from the whatever and THERE SHE IS LADDIE WHERE DID YOU RUN OFF TOO? OMG I MADE POSTERS!! I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN!!!
You have to try a large number words to figure out what’s going to have the euphonic tone and cadence that really sells it.
Don’t fret – embrace the sounds of older and newer technological terminology: say things like, “I’m going to hardnose the TB-338 into the pneumatic jet drive to see if I can overslice it” in the shower. Say it until it sounds natural and make sure to take a noun and use it as a verb. Use it to fake out coworkers who might be giving you a hard time. Confront them then state, “Dammit Jerry, you don’t know the first thing about the overslicing the TB Series. Now what the hell is going on here?”
This will undoubtedly go off in your face the first time you try it and be considered a challenge; CAUTION: Beginners should only attempt this technique in a private, one-on-one setting, and only with co-workers of equal or letter status. (See my post, “HOWTO: DOING THE ‘WORKPLACE EDGY ‘ THING.”
I’ve I gotta figure out how to turn this into Culture Bait Golf.
Until next time, check out my post on “OVERSLICED TB-33X: Our Pneumatic Jet Drive Project.”