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Corporate Language: Jargon & Buzzwords

This concise video isn’t about explaining the definitions of corporate jargon and buzzwords, but rather trying to examine why they’re used. What are they, well essentially technical or pseudo-technical lexicon that makes the user sound as though they’re not made of humble flesh, but are an accurate simulation that’s got stuck on synergised smug.

Corporate language has evolved over the years, with changes usually involving the establishment of language that appears focused on people. But of course, it isn’t.

For anyone interested, that clip of the man in a suit throwing a whiteboard is from Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’.

More info:

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/04/business-speak/361135/

http://www.theofficelife.com/business-jargon-dictionary-P.html

Comments

  1. Some additional info about Peter Drucker: I mention him here not because he´s the founder of business speak or directly involved in the evolution of business terms (he did coin the phrase ´Knowledge Worker´), but he´s a very important part in making modern day corporations what they are today, and his theories have heavily influenced what corporate language has become. If you´re interested in the corporation as a concept, he´s a good place to start.

  2. Isn't it kind of sinister in and of itself to ask for engagement in the eyes of the youtube algorithm under the veil of genuine interest in our perspective? If you profit, it can't be genuine?

  3. "synergy", "touch base", "end of play", and "singing from the same hymn sheet" have to be my most hated buzzwords. "Accountability" is perhaps the most insidious, precisely because the ones who bang on about it never fucking exercise it. Accountability works one way – downwards. The higher up the chain you go, the more you pass the book so more "expendable" employees take the hit.

  4. Watching this video really reminds me of how I've been job hunting for months and wish German job listing wouldn't use English job titles in an attempt to sound fancier at the cost of actually being descriptive.

    Well, that, and figuring out an answer to the question "why do you want to work for us" that isn't "I want to earn money and stop living at my parents' place" is nigh impossible for me.

  5. The notion of sales has a bad reputation but I’ve done it successfully for ten years. The goal is to make the buying process enjoyable and if you can have genuinely enjoyable moments with clients is that really a bad thing?

  6. Businesses trying to be your friend seems far more dishonest and underhand. Innocent Smoothies always used to (they may still, I haven't bought one in a while) put things on their bottles like "stop by our offices for a coffee and a game of ping pong" Oh do fuck off.

  7. "We are totally against all forms of racism and bullying and indeed this behaviour is entirely at odds with the brand values of the Carphone Warehouse. As a result we feel that as long as this continues we are unable to associate our brand with the programme." – The Carphone (?) Warehouse

  8. Moving forward i'd like to see you embrace the core values of our synergistic and diverse culture. Start with the low hanging fruit that have just come up on the radar and keep embracing the blue sky thinking. Clear?

  9. As someone who works in the corporate world I have to say that people who are all "Working at X makes me feel like we're building a better future" make me gag.

    Meanwhile at a digital conference I asked our CTO (10000 employee company) what their stance was on net neutrality.

  10. I like you. 🙂
    Reminds me of the Marx Brothers' "A Night At the Opera":
    "Oh, that's all right, that's in every contract, that's what they call a sanity clause." — "Ha! You can't fool me! There ain't no sanity clause!"

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