…I bloody well hope not.
Reading the wires in downtime this week I came across two entertaining pieces on the ridiculousness that is management speak.
So there’s this book out next week (Who Touched Base In My Thought Shower?: A Treasury of Unbearable Office Jargon by Steven Poole) for which a preview A to Z is handily compiled. Alarmingly, the only one I’d never heard was the Zed. Zero Cycles. Yuk, That really does sound like dross;
“Sorry, I have zero cycles for this.” It’s a splendidly polite and groovily technical way of saying: “Bugger off and don’t ask me again.”
And there’s a jargon origins summary here.
Then I came across a bankster that runs an investment fund where, rather than sticking pins blindfold on a list of company names, they decide to buy according to how devoid of such jargon an annual report is.
Happily, he believes that jargon shows up;
“a combination of woolly thinking and a desire to disguise or divert attention from a problem”
I love the example of success from a pizza chain. They once sponsored The Simpsons on English telly;
…Domino’s Pizza, which began a turnaround in 2009 by publishing harsh criticism from its customers such as “Pizza was cardboard”. You only do that if you intend to change. Since then, shares have risen from $8.50 to $68.
An eightfold leap in just four years is some growth.
The bad examples all make you wonder how on earth they could have been considered so acceptable. When they are not.
The self-styled Fundsmith’s idea of having a banned word count is definitely something we should adopt for our own issued Sales documentation.
Many a decent selling expression can often get confused with the nonsense lingo, mind. Seamless, plug and play, payback, future-proof, best of breed. There’s a long list.
Yet the obvious offenders could surely be rooted out fairly easily.
One way of peppering your glowing prowse with greatness, would be to ask your prospect to describe a completely different project or purchase in their set-up. One that’s universally acclaimed. How was that pitched?
What words or phrases crop up?
Can you use them too?
And what about for anything that’s been a notorious flop for them? What words were used to ‘sell’ them on that? I’m sure you can totally avoid those too, right?