Imaginational Words
Melinda Davis’s book, The New Culture of Desire (The Free Press), grew out of the Human Desire Project — an initiative of the Next Group, a think tank that looks at ongoing changes in human behavior. According to Davis, we are entering the “imaginational” era, and you’ll want to be able to speak that new era’s language. Here are two new terms that you’ll need to know.

1. Vapor worth: The financial equivalent of vaporware. In the five months between November 2000 and March 2001, investors in the United States saw more than $3 trillion in stock portfolios disappear into thin air.

2. Smart-assism: The bad behavior of the deeply cynical. It’s not enough to have attitude. Now you have to have a really negative attitude. Examples flourish on the Web: offered a message service that delivered the unspeakable truth about personal habits and appearance to friends.

In the world of HR, nothing is more ubiquitous than the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a psychological test created by a mother-daughter team in the 1940s using Jungian personality typing. For all its usefulness, however, the 16 personality pigeonholes that are defined by the MBTI have long stifled employees and frustrated bosses. Could you change your type? Put an “E” and an “I” on the same team? Now CPP Inc., which administers MBTI tests, has an answer for those concerns in a new addition to the main test called Form Q. Its big new idea? More adjectives! Instead of just defining a person as an extroverted thinker (the “E” and “T” in an MBTI personality) or an introverted feeler (the “I” and “F”), a person’s idiosyncrasies are cataloged in an array of punchy adjectives, such as “tough,” “questioning,” “methodical,” and “contained.”