Office speak – must we suffer in silence?

David Brent would be relieved to hear that office speak is alive and well.

The BBC has a funny, perhaps frightening, top 50 supplied by workers who are suffering such torment and had to speak out.

My favourites are :

“The business-speak that I abhor is pre-prepare and forward planning. Is there any other kind of preparedness or planning?”  Edward Creswick, well done you are on my blog.

“The expression that drives me nuts is 110%, usually said to express passion/commitment/support by people who are not very good at maths. This has created something of a cliche-inflation, where people are now saying 120%, 200%, or if you are really REALLY committed, 500%. I remember once the then-chancellor Gordon Brown saying he was 101% behind Tony Blair, to which people reacted ‘What? Only 101?'”
Ricardo Molina, don’t watch The Apprentice it might be too much.

(By the way one of the “idgits” on the show wanted a simbiotic relationship with Sir Alan, that is a mutually advantageous association).

“We too used to have daily paradigm shifts, now we have stakeholders who must come to the party or be left out, or whatever.”
Barry Hicks

“Until recently I had to suffer working for a manager who used phrases such as the idiotic I’ve got you in my radar in her speech, letters and e-mails. Once, when I mentioned problems with the phone system, she screamed ‘NO! You don’t have problems, you have challenges’. At which point I almost lost the will to live.”
Stephen Gradwick

“Holistic”, “leverage” and “synergy” are my bugbears.

Still, it is not an new problem.  I would strongly recommend this piece by the great pamphleteer George Orwell who records some clumsy and turgid prose and gives suggestions how to express yourself clearly.  Is there any better teacher?