Tormented by Buzzwords

I hate corporate language, with its buzzwords and incoherent sentences. HATE it. I’m bombarded by it almost daily via company newsletters, and it makes a mockery of English. It’s designed to obfuscate, not communicate. No, that’s giving the writers way too much credit as evil geniuses. More likely, the writers just don’t have a clue what they are saying, but need to constantly fill up a newsletter with corporatey words.

I can ignore the newsletters, and I do. But yesterday I had to do a half hour of “strategic plan” training online. I had to listen to some guy babbling on and on about adjacent verticals, core verticals, subverticals, solutions-based outcomes, and outcome-based solutions. What nonsense. Words like “full range of solutions”, “optimization” and “non-labour service” were all strung together by some kind of madman. I couldn’t fast forward this stuff, and I had to pay attention because there was a test at the end. Even if you could decipher the words, the test was still a crapshoot because the questions were meant to trick us. I fluked out and passed by guessing. Now I actually know even less than I did before about Big Red’s strategic plan, if that’s possible.

I think they designed this training session not to teach anyone about the strategic plan. And by the way, isn’t a plan by definition “strategic”? No, this course was not designed to educate; it was created as an instrument of torture. WHY ARE THEY TORTURING THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES? Well, at least I don’t have to take the 45-minute “Ladder Safety” online course. That’s right, I said 45 minutes.


~ by standupmimi on December 13, 2008.

11 Responses to “Tormented by Buzzwords”

  1. Oughta try figuring out the new educational standards here. . .same thing. We grunt phonemes and flash our way through sight words. . .

  2. We should try to minimize the negative impact of the reverse opportunity provided by the unfamiliar buzzwords. Instead we should actualize the variable nature and the impending meaningization of the words to create positive upmarket scopes for the new definitions that will provide us with possibilities in structurization and meaning acrual.

    • Ha! Meaningization. Brilliant words, Prisoner. I don’t know how you do it. I can’t even remember most of the phrases I come across because it’s all gibberish to me.

      And my American friend – Sad that the educational gurus can’t even speak plainly. Good thing you’re the teacher, not them.

  3. Yeah. I took the ladder-training course. I almost stuck a pencil in my eye so I could go on disability and stop the horror. Inspect your ladder before EVERY use! HATE.

    …and I’m getting tired of the “izes” that float around here. Productize. Connectorize…. words that are just lazy contractions delivered by the corporate labotomized.

  4. We don’t have ladder training, but I did take the fire extinguisher training in our parking lot last fall. Partly to get out of the office, partly to learn how to use it so I’d know what to do in the event of an actual fire, and partly to be trained by some hunky firemen.

  5. Well, Krep – at least you had some motivation other than “do it or you’re fired.”

    Welcome back. We missed you.

  6. My exile was not my doing. Ask The Prisoner.

  7. Uh-oh. “Ask The Prisoner” sounds a bit inflammatory… is it safe?

    Oh well, I’m just glad that I didn’t chase you away (I have a bit of a history of doing so).

  8. Marcom. What a ridiculous “word”.

    “I’ll work with Marcom to ensure that this gets done”

    Why not just say it like it is: “I’ll talk to Lori and she’ll edit the document”


    • Mashing abbreviated words together makes one’s job mysterious and kind of secret servicey. “Marcom”: They’re the grey people in the sub-basement listening to wire taps and ordering assassinations, right? Don’t mess with Marcom.

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