zerode – a sensibility


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Anti-Word of the Day: Onboarding

The OED word of the day is frenemy, n. :

A person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry; a person who combines the characteristics of a friend and an enemy. (via Oxford English Dictionary.)

For my anti-word of the day—or perhaps non-word or marketroid word of the day—I am chosing something that the OED is more likely to consider a straight-up enemy than a frenemy: onboarding

Employee Onboarding: There’s a fairly new term in the talent management world and it’s called onboarding employees.  This idea has been around for quite some time, and it used to be known as new employee orientation.  But as we’ll soon explain, onboarding is more about retaining talent than getting people settled in their new office. (via

Frankly, it sounds a bit like a kind of managerial water-boarding to me.

Whenever I hear management-speak like this, I feel like Göring (mis)reportedly did on hearing the word culture—I get the urge to reach for a weapon of some sort.

And according to those gentlefolk and scholars, Merriam and Webster, it’s not even a word:

For more, on the management practice, see Onboarding – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.



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Creative Commons License
zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



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