Writing Topics: management speak

Cascading jargon


In a recent Guardian article, Steven Poole had an enjoyable dig at office jargon. Among other things, he suggested that asking for something by “end of play” might be “trying to hypnotise you into thinking you are having fun”. I am similarly suspicious of the corporate fondness for prettifying everyday tasks and functions, the word […]

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Animal metaphors


I am indebted to my friend the author Adam Jacot for some animal metaphors that have surfaced in management circles. You may be familiar with “boiled frog syndrome”, “lipstick on a pig” and “elephant in the room”, for which “moose on the table” seems to be an alternative, presumably among Canadians. But unless you are […]

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Ridiculous neologism of the month No. 1


I’m an open-minded kind of guy, I accept that language changes, that people coin neologisms (new words) all the time. I even accept that some of them aren’t the worst words I’ve ever heard. When I saw “organogram”, however, I nearly fell out of my chair. I first came across it a few weeks ago […]

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Harvard: where managers learn to speak like that


[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] I’ve always been suspicious of management theory. As someone who spent six long years doing a properly researched PhD at a properly old university in a properly useless and obscure subject, it’s hard not to find all those pseudo-academic, multisyllabic explanations of how to get stuff […]

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