British Biz Jargon Needs an “Idea Shower”


My campaign against ridiculous jargon in business continues its deep dive into the worst offenders, circling back to you the reader, where, at the end of the day, you'll want to vomit.

Someone recently asked me what "verticals" interest me. I blanched and said, "What 'whats' interest me?"

At least vertical is a word.

A Twitter follower, @episkopos, pointed out an article which gives the dilemma a British accent.

The BBC's Lucy Kellaway has apparently been complaining about the paradigm shift in biz-speak for more than two years.

Here's a list of the most laughable phrases she's found .

These include:

  • "Wouldn't want to wrongside the demographic."
  • "My employers (top half of FTSE 100) recently informed staff that we are no longer allowed to use the phrase 'brain storm' because it might have negative connotations associated with fits. We must now take 'idea showers'."
  • "At my old company (a US multinational), anyone involved with a particular product was encouraged to be a 'product evangelist'. And software users these days, so we hear, want to be 'platform atheists' so that their computers will run programs from any manufacturer."
  • "The new one which has got my goat is 'conversate', widely used to describe a conversation."
  • "The latest that's stuck in my head is 'we are still optimistic things will feed through the sales and delivery pipeline' (i.e.: we actually haven't sold anything to anyone yet but maybe we will one day)."
  • People...this has to stop. Forget repealing healthcare or extending the Bush tax cuts. Stop "thinking outside the box".

Instead, come up with what we used to call "new ideas". ?

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