“Going forward” is only half the phrase that gets up my nose – all politicians seem to use the phrase go forward together. “We must…..we shall…..let us now…..go forward together”. It gives me a terrible mental image of the whole country linking arms and goose-stepping in unison, with the politicians out in front doing a straight-armed salute. Or is that just me?
I am a financial journalist and am on a mission to remove words and phrases such as 360 degree thinking from existence.
The latest that’s stuck in my head is “we are still optimistic things will feed through the sales and delivery pipeline” (i.e. we haven’t actually sold anything to anyone yet but maybe we will one day).
I worked in PR for many years and often heard the most ludicrous phrases uttered by CEOs and marketing managers. One of the best was, “we’d better not let the grass grow too long on this one”. To this day it still echoes in my ears and I giggle to myself whenever I think about it. I can’t help but think insecure business people use such phrases to cover up their inability for proper articulation.
“Need to get all my ducks in a row now – before the five year olds wake up.”
Australians have started to use auspice as a verb. Instead of saying, “under the auspices of”, some people now say things like, “it was auspiced by”.
My favourite – “we’ve got our fingers down the throat of the organisation of that nodule”. Translation – Er, no, WE sorted out the problems to cover your backside.”
The health service in Wales is filled with managers who use this type of language as a substitute for original thought. At meetings we play healthspeak bingo – counting the key words lightens the tedium of meetings – including, most recently “my door is open on this issue”. What does that mean?
The business phrase I find most irritating is “close of play”, which is only slightly worse than actioning something.