Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The strange language of business professionals: Let's "globally architect cross-media metrics!"


A couple of years ago I posted this Dilbert carton on Facebook to illustrate one of my favorite things about office life: The proliferation of semi-meaningless business jargon.

I started my career at a newspaper, and while journalism has its own special buzzwords, someone with no experience at all could walk into a newsroom and mostly understand what the reporters and editors were talking about.

But when my career shifted into the corporate communications realm, I found myself confronted by phrases that carried no meaning for me, or at best were unnecessary substitutes for plainer English.

I would be in meetings in which someone would urge us to "leverage brand synergies" or "cross-pollinate ideas," and I would look around the room expecting that it was some sort of Punk'd-style hazing for me as the new guy, and that any second everyone would burst out laughing and then go back to speaking understandably.

But it never happened. People just went right on doing it. There was never "talking" or "discussing" an idea. You would instead "dialog" about it. You couldn't simply be "aware" of something. It had to be "on your radar." And never would you discuss something later. You would "take it offline."

We didn't talk like that when I was growing up on Harding Drive. Not even the learned Jesuits at my alma mater, John Carroll University, ever used this type of language. It's all very business-specific.

By the way, the phrase in today's headline is a product of the hilarious Corporate BS Generator, which I urge you to visit to create your own semi-coherent bits of jargon. Kudos to my buddy Kyle Tucker for first making me aware of it.

I just went to that site and clicked the "Generate" button again. This time I got "fungibly syndicate excellent content," which is something I hope I just did in the past 10 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment