Since I wrote this, I’ve collected an A-Z of office jargon. You may just want to go there.
If not, I hope you’l enjoy this first attempt to collect these horrible words.
Almost everyone hates jargon, according to a recent survey by the
People clearly need to re-baseline their expectations – going forward.
Jargon, gibberish, gobbledygook and plain, old-fashioned bull are here to stay in the modern office.
So here’s an A to Z to help you navigate the Wonderful World of Weird Wasted Words.
It has gaps (See N – Negative Space). If I couldn’t think of something good or funny, I just didn’t write anything.
This, I’ve found, is a really good line to live by. I’ve also provided some commentary on the jargon. You’ll find it’s pretty positive.
A: Action – When used as a verb this makes me want to action an immediate voiding of my bowels.
B: Basis – As in ‘weekly basis’. Why not ‘every week’? Even if you’re feeling weak. I am – and we’ve only reached ‘B’.
C: Challenging – Why not just ‘sh*t’ or – if you don’t like swearing – ‘crap’?
D: Decisioning – I think this means ‘calculate’, but I’ve made the decision to leave ‘D’ and move on to …
E: Evangelise – This just gives me the creeps because I hate religion as much as I hate jargon. Possibly more.
F: Forward – Managers think they can stop people bitching about past mistakes by saying ‘Going forward.’ Stalin said this whenever he wiped out 9/10 of his Politburo.
G: See ‘F’.
H: Heads-up – How about ‘warning’? But not ‘giving head’. That’s for a different blog.
I: Issues – See C.
J: James (Blunt) – This is, strictly speaking, Cockney Rhyming slang and not jargon. It’s a good description for someone who uses too much jargon.
K: Kit – What people who don’t really understand technology call hardware, when they’re desperately trying not to look stupid (and failing). Example: ‘Great piece of kit, the new Samgsung iPhone device’.
L: Leverage – Is so awful you’ll have to look it up yourself if you haven’t already abandoned this in despair.
M: Manage expectations – Means ‘No’.
N: Negative space – Used by designers who don’t have any imagination.
O: Offline – This actually means ‘elsewhere’ but is used by people working on the internet to show they understand computers and that.
P: Partner with – How about ‘join’? Join is a nice clear word. It also feels nice in your mouth when you say it. Have a go. You might enjoy it.
Q: Oh, thank Christ, a break from this horror.
R: Radar – Used by people stuck in an office who failed to get an exciting job that actually uses radar, like fighter pilot.
S: Stakeholder – I blame Blair for this with his ‘stakeholder society’ crap. I think this was shorthand for selling more council houses.
T: Transitioning – This means making people redundant in possibly the ugliest way known to humans.
Usability: A discipline that should help make websites easier to use. Actually a discipline that uses jargon like ‘satisficing’, ‘heuristic’ and ‘ribcaging’. See Smashing magazine for more if you can stand it.
V: Value add – Horrid and reminds me of VAT. Never a good thing to remind me of.
W: Workstack – what’s this? A 21st century Woolsack? Or just a moronic way to say ‘work’?
X, Y, Z: (I love you, you difficult, end-of-alphabet letters with no office jargon attached to you.)
I also love Steve Jenner of the Plain English Campaign.
He says wise things like this: ‘Some people think that it is easy to bluff their way through by using long, impressive-sounding words and phrases, even if they don’t know what they mean.’