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Apprentice Speak: Talking Corporate Bollocks.
As the government tried to sell off last year's stock of swine flu by telling us the pandemic that did not happen last year had come back to not happen again this year. There is a pandemic running round at the moment though as evidenced by this year's UK run of The Appentice on television. If Lord Sugar's candidates were as good at getting things done as they are at talking management spek bollocks he's be on a winner.

Apprentice Speak
by Ian R Thorpe
20 December 2010
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: appentice, television, management, coprporate, executive, leverage, jargon, satire, humour, humor

We have not had a good blog on The Apprentice this year even though the latest series finished last nigh with Stella being hired by Lord Sugar as we all knew she had been would be. What struck me about this year's run was the number of candidates who when asked a difficult question like "what day of the week is it?" or "can you tell your arse from your elbow," resorted to babbling management speak.

The best at this was Stuart Baggs, Baggs the brand as he dubbed himself thus branding himself as knob of the year. "I'm not just a one trick pony," said Stuart, "I have a field full of ponies."

No Stuart, they all ran away, all you've got is the big pile of shit they left behind.

But Stuart, who was cut down to size when he said, "I'm a big fish in a little pond," only to be told he was not a big fish, not a small fish, not even a fish, was not the only one who spend too much time thinking outside the box, leveraging himself, taking ideas showers, running things up the flagpole or throwing them in the water to see if they floated.

Today the Daily Stirrer wrote about the new improved Swine Flu scare. Swine flu last year was not a pandemic (it wasn't even a fish) not will it be this year. What there is a pandemic of however is talking corporate bollocks. Somebody has kindly compiled a list of the most idiotic managementspeak phrases.

Here are a few of my favourite examples. Top BTW was "going forward" but that does not particularly piss me off and it was New Labourspeak and is now Coalitionspeak so I don't think it really qualifies.

Read the full list, there are some humdingers of twattyness.

******** 2. "My employers (top half of FTSE 100) recently informed staff that we are no longer allowed to use the phrase brain storm because it might have negative connotations associated with fits. We must now take idea showers. I think that says it all really." Anonymous, England

4. "Incentivise is the one that does it for me."
Karl Thomas, Perth, Scotland

5. "My favourite which I hear from the managers at the bank I work for is let's touch base about that offline. I think it means have a private chat but I am still not sure."
Gemma, Wolverhampton, England
(it sounds like a sexual assignation to me: You touch my base and I'll touch yours :- Ian )

7-8. "We used to collect the jargon used in a list and award the person with the most at the end of the year. The winner was a client manager with the classic you can't turn a tanker around with a speed boat change. What? Second was we need a holistic, cradle-to-grave approach, whatever that is."
Turner, Manchester

15-16. "The one that really gets me is pre-plan - there is no such thing. Either you plan or you don't. The new one which has got my goat is conversate, widely used to describe a conversation. I just wish people could learn to 'think outside the box' although when they put us in cubes what do they expect?"
Malcolm, Houston

17. "I work in one of those humble call centres for a bank. Apparently, what we're doing at the moment is sprinkling our magic along the way. It's a call centre, not Hogwarts."
Caroline Garlick, Ayrshire

19. "The one phrase that inspires a rage in me is from the get-go."
Andy, Herts

23. "I worked in PR for many years and often heard the most ludicrous phrases uttered by CEOs and marketing managers. One of the best was, we'd better not let the grass grow too long on this one. To this day it still echoes in my ears and I giggle to myself whenever I think about it. I can't help but think insecure business people use such phrases to cover up their inability for proper articulation."
Leon Reilly, Ealing, London

25. "Australians have started to use auspice as a verb. Instead of saying, 'under the auspices of...', some people now say things like, it was auspiced by..."
Martin Pooley, Marrickville, Australia
(Never heard that but fuck me, it would be really off - pissing)

32. "My least favourite business-speak term is not enough bandwidth. When an employee used this term to refuse an additional assignment, I realised I was completely 'out of the loop'."
April, Berkeley, US
(Bandwidth is seldom used correctly even in the computer business)

33. "I once had a boss who said, 'You can't have your cake and eat it, so you have to step up to the plate and face the music.' It was in that moment I knew I had to resign before somebody got badly hurt by a pencil."
Tim, Durban
(Obviously the guy was better at mixing his metaphors than his cakes)

39. "In my work environment it's all cascading at the moment. What they really mean is to communicate or disseminate information, usually downwards. What they don't seem to appreciate is that it sounds like we're being wee'd on. Which we usually are."
LMD, London

42. "On the wall of our office we have a large signed certificate, signed by all the senior management team, in which they solemnly promise to leverage their talents, display and inspire 'unyielding integrity', and lots of other pretentious buzz-phrases like that. Clueless, the lot of them."
Chris K, Cheltenham UK
(Leverage. Oh how I hate that one. Does anybody anywhere know what it's supposed to mean?)

46. "Lately I've come across the strategic staircase. What on earth is this? I'll tell you; it's office speak for a bit of a plan for the future. It's not moving on but moving up. How strategic can a staircase really be? A lot I suppose, if you want to get to the top without climbing over all your colleagues."
Peter Walters, Cheadle Hulme, UK

49. "Thanks for the impactful article; I especially appreciated the level of granularity. A high altitude view often misses the siloed thinking typical of most businesses. Absent any scheme for incentivitising clear speech, however, I'm afraid we're stuck with biz-speak."
Timothy Denton, New York
(Tim's a satire genius)

50. "It wouldn't do the pinstripers any harm to crack a smile and say what they really felt once in a while instead of trotting out such clinical platitudes. Of course a group of them may need to workshop it first: Wouldn't want to wrongside the demographic."

Click here to read the full list or steal from it for your own blog

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