Can you action this please? Business lingo is the pits.

February 4, 2014

I know I am aged. I know I am not street. But this is about work communications. Not banter between friends. Not text speak. This is when one is trying to have a professional relationship. In these circumstances I cannot understand why one wouldn’t want to speak as plainly and clearly as possible. Why do people feel the need to overcomplicate things? And make up new words or new meanings for old words?

The 3 offenders that have annoyed me already today are:

  1. Ahead of:  As in “Ahead of our meeting today I wanted to …”Ahead is in front of in a physical sense, not on the time space continuum. What is wrong with ‘before’?
  2. Upskill.  As in “We need to upskill the team so they understand the core demographic.” What happened to train? Teach?Improve?
  3. Revert. As in “I will revert as soon as I know the answer”.  What  – they will return to a state that they used to be in? Become embryonic? Primordial? Revert means to return to a previous condition or state – it doesn’t mean “I will get back to you.”

You might have thought I had exhausted all my energies on hating the way language is used in previous posts. But I haven’t. Just as I was about to post this my blue touch paper has been lit by the suggestion to ‘reach out’ at the end of an email rather than straightforward suggestion to ‘contact’. “I’ll let you reach out to x directly.”
I don’t want to ‘reach out’ to colleagues. If I need them, I’ll email. Or call. “Reaching out” is overblown, emotive, nauseaous. It conjours up visions of the comfortably off opening their loving arms and hearts to touch the poor and needy.
If I get another one today, I might just revert to my previous neanderthal  self ,  ‘reach out’ and club someone.


9 Responses to “Can you action this please? Business lingo is the pits.”

  1. GavinT Says:

    Absolutely love this – “Action” and “Revert” have been bugging the living hell out of me for years.

  2. Jess Says:

    Nice job socializing (with a “z”) your input and pushing back. Go focus on some downtime. 😉

  3. Kate Morgan Says:

    put it all down to lazy and poor language skills – revert? – for god’s sake. I feel like up-ending them – new suggestion.

  4. Kate Morgan Says:

    you are right, of course. Reaching out is a new one to me – sooo wrong.

  5. t upchurch Says:

    Last time I reached out at work, I ended up with 3 kids.

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