Thursday, August 09, 2007

Obnoxious Business Jargon, Part Two

Conde Nast's Portfolio Magazine is about to unveil its second print issue, and some readers (including me) are waiting with interest. We're wondering if the second will be nearly as bad as the debut issue, which was roundly (and rightly) panned. Its editor, Joanne Lipman, earlier presided over puffing up the Wall Street Journal with soft lifestyle coverage, but she has thus far turned out to be an unqualified disaster as a magazine editor. Working with all the advantages of the deep pockets of Conde Nast (publisher of the New Yorker, among many other well-known titles), she produced a whole lot of nothing special. So the sharp knives will be out for this next issue.

Anyway, the magazine's companion website, which still considers itself a work in progress (it labels itself "beta"), just published a list of what it considers the most obnoxious examples of business jargon. Like the magazine to which it's married, it's disappointing. The editors seem to have spent about 11 minutes thinking about this one. But they did make a start. How about yours? Any favorite awful business jargon you'd like to add to the list, via comments?

Last year, I posted some outtakes from a much better book-length effort on this subject. The book was entitled: Why Business People Speak Like Idiots--A Bullfighter's Guide.


At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moving forward, stay on message, win-win, synergy, human capital, fall on my/our sword.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

"Moving forward" is a great one. That would make my list, too. Also, the curious way that the word "robust" has come to be used for everything.

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, "going forward" is a great one. It is important in speaking to avoid giving the impression that we own a time machine and propose retrograde chronological motion.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

And don't forget the idiotic overuse of the word "branding." The other day, New Orleans Mayor Rick Nagin complained about all the murders in his city, but said the one saving grace is that news of them keeps the city's brand before the public. You can't make this kind of stuff up.

At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the lordly "it has come to my attention"?

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Favorite has become "Consumer Directed," as in consumer directed healthcare, consumer directed eduction and consumer directed entertainment.

Much more vague than " Ala Carte" or "Bend Over."


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