Language from the Land of the Cubicles

Employees in corporate America know exactly what I’m talking about.  The increasingly Orwellian nature of corporate lingo.  Workplaces across the country have been infiltrated by this pervasive dialect.

If you’ve grown tired of the self-imposed language of workers across the country, then the BBC is here to help.  The BBC has compiled a “50 office-speak phrases you love to hate” list that includes such linguistic gems as “conversate” and “granularity.” 


Sadly, my own personal favorite does not appear on the list. I learned from a friend who worked as a store manager for a national retailer that his company does not have “problems” or “challenges” anymore.  Instead, everything is an “opportunity.”  After learning this, naturally, when I got pulled over for speeding on my way to work, I informed my wife that “I had an opportunity on my way to work this morning.”  I don’t think she saw it that way.


[Editor’s Note:  Our friend and blogger extraordinaire, John Phillips, at The Word on Employment Law, posts the definitions from the Dictionary of Corporate Bull**!@.  I happen to have the Dictionary as a daily desk calendar and I can personally attest that the definitions give us a daily laugh.  As a sampler, and not to spoil any of John’s fun, but today’s definition is “nastygram:  an e-mail that is punitive in tone; a petty and irritating bitch-slap, sent with the ulterior motive of defending the author’s ridiculously small territory and authority and venting otherwise unexpressed frustration and anger; frequently sent by middle managers who must daily fight off the reality of their own insignificance; a common tool of the micromanager.”  md.]

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