Poor grammar, the incorrect use of their, there, they’re, and your and you’re, and unnecessary jargon are all things that rile.
When it comes to overly-complicated, superfluous gobbledygook, corporate speak is arguably the worst offender.
Business lingo can confuse and complicate at times when you want to be clear in order to get your point across.
So why do we feel the need to say we’re ‘reaching out’ to someone, when we mean we’re going to talk to them? Does the use of fancy sounding buzzwords give the speaker more power, and make what they have to say sound more interesting?
According to psychologists, the use of abstract language makes the speaker appear more powerful – so they in turn are more likely to be respected.
Generally speaking, then, by saying you need some blue sky thinking, you’ll earn more respect than if you simply say you want to find some new ideas.
But in reality, wouldn’t we prefer a world where we just said what we meant rather than using outdated and confusing sayings to say we are going to do something?
Does this excessive language actually just mask a lack of substance? Surely ‘going forward’ is the only way to go unless you’re going backwards?
A businessman is going to be no less successful for saying he was asked to do something than saying he was tasked with it.
While it’s unrealistic to think that language won’t evolve, perhaps it’s naïve to believe it should evolve for the better. You only have to look at the latest additions to the Oxford English dictionary to see a worrying trend for new words that have been added – think hangry, selfie, mic drop, bants…
It’s not necessary ‘to touch base’ about something ‘offline’, or to have someone or something ‘on your radar’. As we ‘go forward’ wouldn’t it be nice to just say what we mean? So the next time you need to reach out, shift a paradigm or push the envelope - just do it.