Do you use any of the terms below? I know I use many of them, but I thought it would be fun to poke fun at the way we talk and write in a professional environment.
- Business casual: Explain this to me please. A collared shirt is “casual”. Now, add a man with a stick riding a horse and a 90 dollar price-tag. You now have “business casual”.
- Stakeholders: Is anyone physically holding a stake? Avoid this term unless you are in the business of supplying stakes to vampire-killers.
- Complimentary: Just call it a booby prize instead. Complimentary is a patronizing euphemism for minor frills that the client has already paid for, such as complimentary nuts with a 1000 dollar registration fee.
- Different timezones: This is usually a valid reason to miss a teleconference. India needs different timezones. We usually miss or are late for meetings, but this would give us a consistent excuse.
- Great men think alike: What a meaningless meme! Idiots think alike too. How else would you explain the Holocaust? The only reason to say “great men think alike” in a corporate setting is to steal credit for an idea.
- Leverage: Unless you lift heavy objects with a crowbar, you should not use leverage at work. Use “exploit” “bribe” or “blackmail”.
- Living document: You almost expect a living document to start flapping. Always keep a can of insecticide in your office. Spray anyone holding one.
- Moving forward: Moving forward, moving forward will not be necessary. Smart people will just use future tense. Now you decide.
- Networking: Something we are all expected to do, but which isn’t fun at all if you forget to bring your needle and thread.
- Office climate control: Air-conditioning controls temperature. If you’re going to call it climate control there should at least be a monsoon setting.
- Season change: At any time of the year when someone says they have a cold, you should feign sympathy and say that it is due to season change. This is the polite yet uninterested answer.
- Testimonial: This one is unavoidable these days, I’m afraid. Ten years ago it was enough to tell someone that he or she was a good person. Now everyone expects a testimonial on Orkut or Linkedin.
- Witch-hunt: The use of this term in everyday conversation is unfortunate. Usually used in the search for a scape-goat. On a related note, I’m really glad we don’t use “bride-burning” idiomatically in India.
- Work-life balance: Whoever came up with work-life balance made sure both were distinct and that one came before the other.
- Turnkey solutions: If you use this unfortunate phrase make sure you leave out the “n” in the first word and that you just call it a typo.
Disclaimer: I’ve posted many of these on Twitter. This living document is a joke of course. My intention is not to offend anyone here, and the thoughts here are solely my own. Moving forward I hope to leverage existing synergies to create even sillier posts!
© Text, 2010-2012, Anirban