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Business-ese

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Business-ese

  1. 1. Business-ese is an enemy of civilisation
  2. 2. Is that really what you mean? Is that really what you mean? (And was this picture worth drawing?) No Hell, no
  3. 3. Oooh - impressive  Do you use fancy words to make very little sound like something?  Do you think that using such words gives your product or your efforts some sort of extra allure?  It doesn’t. It just makes you sound at best foolish and at worst ignorant.
  4. 4. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your … approach  When you talk about your company’s ―philosophy‖ or, in a work context, your personal ―philosophy‖ you mean something else, obviously.  If it really is your philosophy—if your philosophy really is that narrow—then you are to be pitied.  Never use the word ―philosophy‖ in a work context unless you wish to sound silly. Use a word that actually means what you’re talking about, such as ―approach‖ or ―plan‖.
  5. 5. Use with extreme caution …  ―Strategy‖. You probably mean ―tactic‖ or ―approach‖ or ―plan‖ or suchlike.  The over-use in business of the word ―strategy‖ in order to make not very much sound like something has rendered the word almost unusable by normal human beings who wish to be understood.
  6. 6. Never, ever, ever use …  ―Learnings‖  This shouldn’t need any explanation, but at some point a marketing department somewhere must have invented this horrible misuse of the present participle of the verb to learn (or the gerund derived therefrom), seemingly unaware of the existence of the perfectly good word ―lessons‖.  Using the word ―learnings‖ makes you sound stupid.  Using the word ―lessons‖ makes you sound like a normal human being.
  7. 7. Don’t be barbaric  Using horrible, clichéd business-ese makes you sound as if you’re dancing to someone else’s tune – like a mindless automaton.  Moreover such barbarism makes you unintelligible, longwinded and boring – a waster of other people’s time.  Work is boring. Using concise language that means what it’s supposed to is honest, shows respect for your fellow human beings, and makes you both worth listening to in the work place and worth knowing outside of it.

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