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The SNEWS View: Corporate speak – Reach out, ping me, and conversate to run it up the flagpole…huh?

Everybody sits in meetings and bobs heads in unison when told about running something up a flagpole or when asked to reach out to someone to vet out an idea, but what are they thinking inside? How they belong in a Dilbert cartoon perhaps? SNEWS® has taken a listen, polled others, and found a few pet peeves. We’ll present ours here...


Everybody sits in meetings and bobs heads in unison when told about running something up a flagpole or when asked to reach out to someone to vet out an idea, but what are they thinking inside? How they belong in a Dilbert cartoon perhaps?

Depending on who you speak with, the transgression known as corporate speak is the regular use of words that have fuzzy or vague meaning and, as used, may have no real meaning. But if one says it, everybody says it, making you feel part of the inside bunch, smart and savvy – launching such often nonsensical corporate speak into the daily lexicon.

SNEWS® has taken a listen, polled others, and found a few pet peeves. We’ll present ours here. And we look forward to you adding yours below in our Chat!

>> I’ll “reach out” to my colleague so we can “vet out” the “take-away” to decide if the “synergies” are part of our “going-forward plan” since we are completely “under-resourced” at this time. (OK, so we got carried away on this one, but really!)

>> What is your “elevator pitch?”

>> Let’s have a meeting next week since I’m “out of pocket” this week.

>> So far “I’m not getting a grasp of this.”

>> I can see we’ll need to develop some “forward-planning” and find the “appropriate contingencies” to reach the “low-hanging fruit.”

>> This will require a “fluid” plan since we’ll need to “source” the “strategic take-away.”

>> I’ll answer questions asap if you “ping me” so we can “conversate” about it.

>> Then we can “run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.”

>> Over the last six recessions we’ve “trended key performance indicators” like the “buying influences of attendees.”

>> We need to “engage with key stakeholders and decision-makers” before we move on that idea.

>> The team needs you to “step up to the plate” on this and “execute on those deliverables.”

In addition, we’d like to translate a few more favorites:

>> If someone in your office says, “Can I be honest here…” what they are really saying is “I am about to unload a verbal nuclear bomb to completely obliterate your idea and any semblance of good in your suggestion, so duck and cover now.”

>> “Basically,…” as the start to a sentence indicates, “I am about to go on and on about how your idea will not work in a hundred different ways without offering one idea of my own that could remotely be considered an acceptable alternative.”

>> “Everyone has a right to their own opinion,” as a retort to an idea that is not fully in synch with the speaker. It’s the verbal representation of pouting – with bad grammar to boot. Look up relative or possessive nouns to get it right.

>> “Let me know how that works for you…” really means, “I’m trying to sound all nice, welcoming and concerned about your well-being, but frankly, if you don’t like it, tough because that is how I roll.” 

Got some to share? We’re dying to hear them and see them shared with the SNEWS readers! Just dive into the SNEWS Chat area below!