Euphemisms for incompetence.

Slate's audio offerings.
March 12 2007 4:35 PM

A Rock With Arms

And other euphemisms for workplace incompetence.

To listen to Slate's latest euphemisms audio contest, featuring language columnist Barbara Wallraff, click the arrow on the player below: 

Andy Bowers Andy Bowers

Andy Bowers is the executive producer of Slate’s podcasts. Follow him on Twitter.

You can also click here *  to download the MP3 file.

Advertisement

You know that lazy, boneheaded colleague in the next cubicle? The one who should have been fired long ago, but somehow continues to sprinkle mediocrity on everything he touches? In January, we asked you to help us come up with good euphemisms for these people. Now our audio euphemism contest curator, language columnist Barbara Wallraff, is back with some of her favorite submissions.

You don't need an iPod or other portable audio device to hear the program—you can play it right from your computer with the Flash audio player above.

And for our next listener contest, Barbara is looking for euphemistic ways of saying that someone is, you know, totally hot. For example, there's the HR specialist who warned employees against telling co-workers they looked attractive, suggesting as an alternative: "You look very professional today." Of course, the listener who sent us this story said professionalquickly became a euphemism for beautiful around his office.

As always, we strongly recommend that you listen to the program before submitting an entry. Here are the details:

Submit a euphemism for: Attractive, beautiful, hot.
The deadline: March 31, 2007
The e-mail address: podcast@wordcourt.com
The prize: None (sorry). But winners will be noted on Barbara's Web site, www.wordcourt.com (visit the Library section to find previous winners), and she may include worthy entries in a future book much like her most recent book, Word Fugitives.

(By entering this contest, you grant Slate permission to use your name, unless you expressly request otherwise.)

For comments, not contest entries, write us at podcasts@slate.com.

* To download the MP3 file, right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Politico Wonders Why Gabby Giffords Is So “Ruthless” on Gun Control

Behold
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?