B2G , Associations , Non Profit , Culture , Government

A Lexicon of Zoom Fails

Robert W. Sprague

A new way of working demands a new vocabulary. As marvelous as Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms are, a surfeit of technical glitches and user errors accompanies the typical call.

The author modestly proposes the following terms to describe our common experience—and common misery.

A Lexicon Of Zoom Fails

Bradibunchiness – When the main speaker is not on video, leaving a blank space in the grid

Caconphony – Multiple participants simultaneously speaking, stopping, speaking, stopping, and speaking again over one another because of a delay in the audio

Cataclypse – The interposition of a pet between participant and camera

Dumbonomy – using a chair with a headrest that makes it look like one has enormous ears

Eternitoff – The awkward silence at the end of a call while participants try to find the “Leave” button

Flashination – Standing up for a break, forgetting one is not wearing pants

Frocorona – The fuzzy halo that appears around the head of someone whose Zoom background does not quite cover up their dark environment

Inconkiderate – A parent who fails to go on mute when dealing with interrupting child

Icontactlessness – Positioning the camera so one is always looking offscreen

Karloffense – The sinister visage caused by uplighting from the computer screen

Kilroyalty – A camera angle showing the participant from the nose up

Librarely – making Zoom calls in front of a bookshelf filled with books one has never read

Loginterval – The awkward silence at the beginning of a call while participants wait for others to join

Nominotion – A participant displaying the wrong name because they are using someone else’s account

Onmutation – A valuable comment or response that is inaudible to the other participants

Outcognito – When virtually no one has the camera on

Platulence – Having successive calls on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Teams, GoToMeeting, and iChat

Scenarrhea – an unfortunate choice of Zoom background, such as Hooters for a business meeting

Sleepishness – snoring audibly while unmuted

Titleation – having an inappropriate book visible on the bookshelf behind one, such as “I Am Surrounded by Idiots” or “I Hate My Boss”

Tonitigeria – Backlighting so severe it turns the Zoom call participant into a featureless silhouette

Wifurcation – An interruption caused by a wireless network glitch


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Robert W. Sprague
Robert W. Sprague
President & CEO