August 13, 2010

corporate jargon, unsucked

i reached my wit's end the day i received an email that concluded:  "please reach out to me by phone."  i almost wrote back to remind the sender that we actually have a word for that in english:  call.

after five years of management consulting, i've encountered my fair share of obnoxious corporate jargon.  usually you just have to pick it up as you go, but now there's a great translation website that turns business speak into plain english.  it's a godsend to entry-level analysts everywhere.

unsuck-it has many of my favorite offenders already (reach outofflineout of pocket, rock staropen the kimono, drill down, action item, paradigm shiftlow-hanging fruit, ping), but it's missing a few, so i submitted them:

"we need a meeting to talk around the sales figures."
translation:  about

knowledge sharing
"let's set up some time to do knowledge sharing before you leave the project."
translation:  exchange information

impactful (this is not even a real word)
"our work for this client has been really impactful to their business."
translation:  significant, valuable

"the company has operated in that space for 10 years."
translation:  industry, market

30,000-foot view
"before we dive into the details, please give us a 30,000-foot view of the situation."
translation:  overview, big picture

do you have any others to submit?  add value to the internets at


Tucker Bradford said...

oh I am so with you on "out of pocket." I instantly start filtering when I hear that. Drives me nuts. "Out of pocket" is for expense reports, it does not mean you're skipping work to watch the ball game.

anneke jong said...

tucker bradford, FTW! exactly, brother. exactly.

QK said...

What about silly twenty-something-isms? E.g., "deets", no capitalization, nicknames rather than real names. Just wondering. :)

anneke jong said...

touche. but "deets" isn't even close to the worst. totes, obvi, and OMG have it beat by a mile.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch said...

"Well, uhm, would you like to play in the sandbo-, I mean, want to participate on our group research on sand resistance?