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Topic Title: 'Management Speak' - has business language gone mad?
Topic Summary: or, How Managers mutilate the English language... your best examples please
Created On: 28 May 2008 08:45 AM
Status: Read Only
Related E&T article: The language of business
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 02 August 2011 12:53 PM
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Avatar for hamishbell.
hamishbell

Posts: 287
Joined: 11 September 2001

Dynamic and Journey are seen as "action" words, so something must be happening, even if you can't see it!
Regards
Hamish

-------------------------
Hamish V Bell, BSc, CEng, FIET, FCQI, CQP
2007 - 2010, Vice President and Trustee
 02 August 2011 01:19 PM
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dvaidr

Posts: 519
Joined: 08 June 2003

Sorry but I was educated in a state school by an excellent English teacher who promoted simplicity and accuracy in speech and the written word. This nouveau-talk is so not good!
 02 August 2011 01:48 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: dvaidr

Radio 4 this morning. "The Chinese don't wish to see the violence in Libya escalated, now that the dynamic had changed, they may be willing to agree on further action". How does one change a dynamic such as this and what kind of dynamic is this exactly? Don't them mean conditions or something similar.


It's the dynamic between two different groups of people, the effect that changes in the behaviour of one group of people has on the behaviour of another group of people. "Dynamic" (n) is the correct word for this, but it could it be spelt out in more detail if that meaning of dynamic is not well known. That's the problem, how do you decide whether a new-ish word or meaning is sufficiently well known to be used.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 08 August 2011 12:16 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

And just to reinforce my contention that we need to clean up our own act before we criticize anyone else...just seen this written by an engineer: "To qualitatively utilize, enhance, assimilate and inculcate knowledge through hands-on experience in the technical areas." I have no idea what this means.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 11 August 2011 02:47 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

I have this theory. Those in senior management positions (who don't have degree level qualifications in technical subjects) and don't know what they're talking about, generally use management Gobbledegook as a way of demonstrating intellectual superiority over subordinates. When they see results, are encouraged to continue using it.

I have observed that now subordinates without degree level qualifications, are adopting this nonsense as a way of showing off in front of their managers and putting down more technically minded experts. It's a way of getting promotion and showing that you are not just a techie.
 19 August 2011 08:46 AM
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andymale37

Posts: 26
Joined: 25 July 2008

A small gripe I have from time to time, in microsoft word produced documents, is the use of Americanised spellings - i.e. Americanised becomes Americanized - if only people would make sure their spell checker is set to UK English!!!
 13 October 2011 05:28 AM
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dvaidr

Posts: 519
Joined: 08 June 2003

From an entertaining meeting last week:

Mood music, i.e. "check out the mood music before we do anything".
Runner beans in the undergrowth, i.e. "We need to do a deep dive so that we can make sure we've checked for runner beans in the undergrowth"
Across the piste, i.e. "We should really be playing across the piste, on this one"
 13 October 2011 07:30 AM
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DavidParr

Posts: 238
Joined: 19 April 2002

Originally posted by: dvaidr

Runner beans in the undergrowth, i.e. "We need to do a deep dive so that we can make sure we've checked for runner beans in the undergrowth"

Brilliant! I haven't got a clue what that means, but I intend to use it sometime today!

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 08 January 2012 02:12 AM
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danielrainbow

Posts: 8
Joined: 13 November 2003

Originally posted by: nicksmithphoto
1) Refer to The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary where there are definitions of revolution and revolutionary as terms to describe rotation.

...

4) ....I know that liberal and modern dictionaries allow octopi and the equally disgusting octopuses,
quite, I suspect such works of the lingua franca accepting devils "modern liberal" dictionary might also include such bastardised terms as revolutionary, with it's definition having something to do with things that turn... Yeah, Right!, Oh, maybe not...
I'm confused now... what dictionary are we looking at now? which should we avoid? it seems that your argument appears to be that we should avoid ambiguous words, or poorly formed words relying on original words from dictionaries, not all dictionaries, just your dictionary, which is a modern liberal dictionary, just not as new modern or liberal as others dictionaries.
OED lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order 2008 draft)
I guess, the big question is... what version of the OED are you using, and are you happy for the English language never to evolve any more past this dictionary

My real bugbear is "Going Forward";
my manager says that also, except he adds annoying emphasis to the o of forward. I've often felt like stopping him mid-sentence and asking him to repeat the word until he can say it right... I sometimes like to go backwards though, it's often the only way to correct the fatal mistakes that were made to prompt a speech including the phrase going forward!

 10 July 2012 02:18 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I liked this one, received today in a advert mailing from the CMI:
We live in a digital world where in-person business communication is becoming more and more rare, so we use virtual communication - but are you using your virtual technology to its full virtual effectiveness?

As a member of the CMI you are invited to join a complimentary webinar on Virtual Effectiveness in Today's Digital Business World


Next time anyone asks me what I'm doing I'll say I'm being virtually effective.

(P.S. I see the IET still includes in its values "Digital and global - in thought and action". Sorry, my actions and thoughts are determinedly analogue.)

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
IET » Management in engineering » 'Management Speak' - has business language gone mad?

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