Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Corporate Jargon Bust Up

22 June 2016

Do you need to spend less time hypertasking and prethink outside the box on peeling the strategic onion?

At Springfords we rather pride ourselves on plain speaking. We try to stay away from this sort of gobbledygook. We succeed. You won’t be seeing anything like this from us. The issue is firmly on our radar.

However, there’s plenty of corporate nonsense to be found elsewhere, and now the most hated jargon has been compiled - unless someone with an axe to grind has pencil whipped the records and massaged the figures into a PowerPointless presentation and published it in tree format (that’s paper to you and me).

The Daily Telegraph says we really don’t like to touch base offline. We’d much rather meet and talk - and no mention of IRL (“In Real Life” is understood, obvs).

Blue Sky Thinking is not only corporate code for coming up with ideas without any constraints, it’s also the second most hated wordy-widget from the business lexicon of loathing. We just think it sounds like sunbathing - and that’s a good enough reason to do a plain-speaking no-nonsense thought shower (which is number four on the chart).

If you’re left as baffled as the rest of us by impenetrable mumbo-jumbo-management speak, or if you want to baffle everyone with long words that are short on meaning, check out devilish dictionaries like, which alphabetically lists the worst offences.

There’s a new book called “Jargon Buster” by the man behind early editions of the enigmatic TV panel-game QI, Adam Jacot de Boinod, compiled on the behest of Amba Hotels. If you’ve ever stayed in one of their properties, you’ll know they provide an expresso machine in every room. If you’ve ever tried to read the instruction manual for an expresso machine, you’ll already know all about impenetrable language. Presumably the Jargon Buster book will complement the Gideon Bible, so we can all sing from the same hymn sheet (number eight on the top ten).

None of this impresses the Institute of Leadership and Management. In their own survey, they reported that a quarter of British workers find corporate jargon to be a "pointless irritation". Presumably the other three-quarters find corporate jargon to be a “really pointless irritation”, an “utterly pointless irritation”, and a “give me one more syllable of that tripe and I swear I will end you and all your board of directors, so help me irritation.”

Springfords are on side with Chrissie Mahler, of the Plain English Campaign. As also reported in The Daily Telegraph, she criticised management speak for acting as a barrier to procuring new business.

We don’t want to let the grass grow under this one, so, at the close of play we’re going to just list the low hanging fruit left in the top ten.

After all, to circle back and bacon wrap the situation, we’d sooner action a penetration pricing policy if that means we can wash our face on this one without having to punch the puppy.

You can’t argue with that. Unless you’re a really naughty puppy. Actually, we don’t have a clue what that means, and all our puppies are well behaved.

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springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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