Hackneyed business phrases
I’ve been busy this week, so less posts. But came across an interesting piece in BBC News. Business-speak tends to annoy me. One term that really peeves me is “add value” as though what you’re doing isn’t adding value already! What exactly does “add value” mean? Who or what are you adding value to? Another one that I dislike is “synergies”, oh and “moving forward” (guess you need to point out that you’re not moving backward!)…and “let’s touch base”. Sigh. And let’s not forget the classic: “low hanging fruit” – as if we’re all in some orchard ready to grasp the juicy, ripe peaches!
So the article lists 50 hackneyed business terms. “Let’s touch base” is at number 5, with “going forward” at number one. You can read all 50 yourself but here’s some annoying office jargon:
- “challenges“: used to be we had “problems” now they’re “challenges”. Same thing really – something you have to resolve.
- “pre-plan“: either you plan or you don’t. How does one pre-plan?
- “in this space“: actually, I heard this the other day as in “how can I go forward in this space?”. The space turned out to refer to an IT project, not outer space. Far simpler to say “wonder what I need to do with this project?”. Mmmm….KM people sometimes say “KM space”. Note to self: never say it!
- “from the get-go“: not used much in Australia, although I’ve heard it. I think we have to blame the Americans for this one. What is the get-go anyway?
- “go forward together”: well, yes better than all rushing off in different directions or God forbid, going backwards!
- “get all my ducks in a row“: ah yes, this is one I really dislike. As though we’re going out duck hunting.
- “at the end of the day“: hate this one!
- “granularity“: why can’t we just say “detail”?
- “leverage“: I’ve been known to use this term. A really annoying buzz word.
- “living the values“: I’ve been subjected to this one in the last two years when senior execs took off to Mt Sinai (aka offsite venue) and dreamed up some all-encompassing values like “respect” and “be strong” – then published said values on mouse mats, which were handed out to all employees. I think I turfed my mouse mat in the bin pretty quickly.
- “drill-down“: whenever I’ve heard this phrase, I’ve wondered if I’m some 19th Century magnate drilling for oil!.
Probably, 2.0 will become increasingly annoying. It’s made the list at number 45. Web 2.0, Enterprise 20, Library 2.0, KM 2.0. What business speak or buzz-words irritate you?