Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I am so tired of mindless meeting speak. Most of my co-workers know this fact because of how much I laugh and rail at their attempts at fitting in with pathetic vocabulary. Every single person here works this amateur vocabulary into everything they say. In this job a lot of the vernacular comes from the military but there are enough non-military folks that oftentimes business lingo hops over the moat. Yesterday morning, in a two sentence opening by one person, I wrote down the following phrases: pillars, stovepipes, lanes of the road, fidelity, cart/horse, and show the math. Stunning. I’ve been particularly harsh on the users (and it’s everyone) of “lanes of the road,” it may be the most overused phrase since “it is what it is.” Which, by the way, makes you sound like a moron.

My game for the next month is to try to get everyone using crazy terms that I’m going to simply pull from (almost) thin air: One phrase per week that I’ll use at least once a day in our various meetings and strolling discussions. I’ll have to be careful because anything too random will signal to the lemmings that it’s not a serious phrase. At the same time, it has to have some pull to those unable to actually speak normally; my first thought was to try out ‘widdershins’* but I don’t think it’ll do anything but make people wonder, “Right, I see your point, but let’s go widdershins around the table. Bob?” I think I’ll have to grab an idea from the world of traffic and somehow make it work, I'm contemplating some version of either 'on ramp' or 'off ramp'.

Any suggestions are welcome.

*** I'd never heard of, or used, widdershins until X brought it up last week. Fantastic word.

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