Microspeak: Hipo

Raymond Chen

A friend of mind was asked out of the blue, “What does hypo mean?” She started to flash back to high school English class and Greek word roots. “I’ve started to hear it everywhere. Like Everyone in that meeting is a hypo or We need to reach out to hypos.” My friend realized that she had mis-heard the question. It was not about the Greek root hypo but rather the bizarro Microspeak word hipo, shorthand for high-potential employee. As I researched this term (which I had never encountered before), I found that it fell into that special category of Microspeak known as if you have to ask, I’m not going to tell you. Identifying and developing high-potential employees is one of the charter activities of the ExPo project. And if you look through the ExPo Web site, you’ll find that nowhere do they tell you what HiPo and ExPo stand for. “If you have to ask, I’m not going to tell you.”

My friend suggested that “ExPos are people who have a lot of potential and enjoy showing it off to others.”


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