This is what we get in return for Shakespeare

A recent article on the Hubspot blog about what they call “business babble” had me spluttering into my coffee. The reason was that we import almost all of our corporate jargon from the USA (I suspect there’s a secret site there churning it all out), and I hadn’t yet come across many of the phrases mentioned. If these terms are what the Americans are complaining about now, there’s every chance that some sharp-suited sales director here will be slipping them into his (and it’s usually his) presentation in a conference room near you, quite soon. So get ready, apparently, for “opening the kimono”, “boiling the ocean” and “circling back”.

What are your most reviled phrases which are only ever used in a business context? For me, new depths were reached when a company told me the other day that it would “reach out” to me that week to “deep dive” into an issue. And they were in Ireland, not California! Or take a look – there are over 150,000 references to Google to this appalling combination of buzzwords.

Over to you in the comments…

Discussion

  1. Claire Childs

    Love it Chris! I escaped from “Corporates-ville” 7 years ago & can now laugh at the jargonists, but I well remember endless meetings where the only relief from the tedium was a secret game of “buzz-word bingo” – so it does have its compensations! As for the poor souls who feel compelled to engage in this nonsense-speak, in my experience they tend to be the ones who have been promoted to a position beyond their skills, and they’re terrified of being found out! Perhaps we should pity them?!

  2. Kim Harris

    An entertaining article. Some of these were quite new to me, such as “boil the ocean”. I loathe this kind of babble but probably my most hated expression is to “have some skin in the game” which always sounds quite repellent. I was with someone once who actually “opened the kimono”, fortunately not literally. I almost fell about laughing.

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