As a copywriter whose job it is to write as simply and clearly as possible, my pet hate is corporate speak. It’s not only business people who use it – politicians, government officials and many people in the public eye love it – because they can use lots of important sounding words to create the illusion that what they’re saying is important. But when you analyze the words they’re meaningless. Like balloons, they’re full of air. Prick them and you’re left with a shrivelled heap of rubbish.
Having worked in government departments for many years, I’ve been surrounded by corporate speak and it sets my teeth on edge. It’s become so commonplace that people look at you strangely if you ask them to ‘please speak plain English.’
From my observations, there are three main reasons people use it:
So join in my campaign to banish corporate speak ! Let’s be proactive in raising the bar on the quality of our language. At this point in time I’d like to call on all thought leaders to bring to the table their focussed, dynamic and action oriented plans to rid ourselves of this inappropriate form of communication. Moving forward, let’s push the envelope and aim for a ballpark figure of say, nil % corporate speak by the end of the year. It will require a paradigm shift in our thought processes, but I’m sure we can all leverage our resources to create a seamless transition. At the end of the day we’re all on the same page, aren’t we?
What are your pet hates in corporate speak? I’d love to hear them.
Robin Storey is an Australian author from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She is a certified book nerd and has no weird hobbies or unusual pets.