OPINION | How to English like a boss

I received an email recently that got me thinking about that language variously known as Corporate Lingo, Office Jargon or Business Speak (BS from here on).

Much like the pidgin English our politicians like to employ, BS is made up of various borrowed, bungled and plain off-base words and phrases, deployed in an effort to misdirect and mislead.

The aim is for important business types to be as ambiguous as possible, while still being able to claim they told us the truth.

So in the interests of translation, I’ve put together a little BS explainer in case you’re tired of feeling like a stranger in a strange land every time you sit down at your desk.

Best practice: The way things should be, but in reality, never are.

Role evaluation: Where I tell you how to do your job.

Economic benefits: We’ll all get rich. Well, all of us at the top of the pile. Some might trickle down to you lot.

Efficiencies: Half of you will lose your jobs. The rest of you will do twice as much work. See how much more efficient that is?

Empower: This is a task I don’t want to do. So in my power as your boss, I would like to show you how to do it so that I no longer have to.

Ducks in a row: Get your act together, before your ducks take off and migrate for winter.

Outsourcing: We’re sending all the work to India.

Paradigm: I don’t know what word to use, but this one’s nice, isn’t it?

Rational approach: As in, not emotional. So don’t get out the violins and tell me about your mortgage and your five children. You can’t fool me with your tears. You’re still fired.

Shoot me an email: This just means ‘send me an email’, but how much cooler does it sound?

Touching base: I’m checking to see you are still alive and turning up to work. If anyone asks, we had a ‘best practice role evaluation’.

Finally, if you’re trying to write your own business email and either a) want to hide an unpalatable truth or b) don’t think you sound like you’re earning you’re six figure salary, I have the answer. Go to www.atrixnet.com/bs-generator. You can thank me later when you get that raise.


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