It seems that never have so many said so much of so little importance in attempts to boost their credibility using verbal piffle. In the past you had “Let’s run it up the flagpole”, “Singing from the same hymn sheet”, ” Going forward“.
We also have to contend with the pseudo-technical phrases as highlighted in the Times Business today.
Examples? Punch a puppy ie make an unpopular decision, WFH – working from home, Gig economy – freelancing, short-term assignments & zero hour contracts, arse-covering exercise – pretty obvious that one, Dogfooding – forcing staff to wear or consume your own product to boost consumer confidence, Mandated Worker Furlough – being told to take an unpaid holiday whether you want to or not (HSBC), and Legacy issue – what was in place before I came along i.e. it’s not my fault I inherited it.
Now Marketing magazine has come up with the Top 10 most irritating phrases.
- Growth hacking i.e. startups using big data
- Fall forward i.e. learn from failure
- Let’s socialise this or let’s cascade this or let’s touch base i.e. let’s have a chat about it
- Shift the dial i.e. make progress
- Let’s workshop this
- Level playing field
- Let’s not boil the ocean i.e. do something too complicated
- Content is King
- I may have a window for you ie and be grateful (implied)
- Think outside the box i.e. differently (and it can work)
Michael Sugden, CEO of VCCP advertising agency who came up with the list said “We use these phrases to make the obvious and straightforward sound cerebral and exciting. In 2016 I promise to abstain from using claptrap phraseology”.
And that should be everyone’s New Year resolution!