Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Irritating business expressions

Instinct says this list could be longer — a lot longer. But Loren Steffy, on his jaunty Houston Chronicle business blog, has published his 20 most annoying business expressions:

  1. Paradigm shift. The most overblown euphemism for “change” since “sea change.”
  2. Sea change.
  3. Swung to a profit/loss. A staple of Wall Street Journal earnings stories, it conjures images of Tarzan as an accountant.
  4. Downsize (or its variations including “right sized” or “reductions in force.”). They’re being fired, folks.
  5. Sell off. There’s no selling without buying.
  6. Leaving for personal reasons/to spend more time with his family. Yeah, right.
  7. The pendulum has swung too far. Based on my understanding of physics, pendulums, by definition, can’t swing too far.
  8. We are cooperating fully with the investigation. After which our CEO will be leaving to spend more time with his family.
  9. Profit taking. It’s called selling.
  10. Reviewing our strategic alternatives. It’s called selling.
  11. Merger of equals. The business version of jumbo shrimp.
  12. Forward-looking statements. Lawyers must get paid by the word. For the rest of us, “forecast” or “prediction” works just fine.
  13. Quiet period. A legal fiction that grew out of a rule prohibiting companies from hyping their stock before selling shares to the public.
  14. Greed is good. It’s a misquote, it’s overused, and if you think it’s funny, you missed the point of the movie.
  15. Pre-owned. A mangling of the English language to avoid the truth: used.
  16. Pre-approved. A mangling of the English language to hide how lenders see you: a sucker.
  17. Zero-percent financing/interest. How about “no interest”?
  18. The next Enron. There will never be another.
  19. Organic growth/grow the business. Plants and animals grow. Businesses, at least successful ones, expand.
  20. The customer experience. I don’t want to have an experience. I just want to buy stuff and leave.
And, even before finishing his list, Steffy is already adding to it:Update: I know I said 20, but how could I forget… maximize shareholder value. Companies that talk about it usually aren’t doing it.

No comments:

Lunch is for wimps

Lunch is for wimps
It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another.