I can't stand it when people hide behind absurd jargon, thinking it makes them sound clever. Management-speak and Government-speak are ugly, usually quite unnecessary, verbose, exclusive and frankly rather pathetic when you deconstruct them.
Anyway, recently I was waiting for a train and couldn't avoid listening to a woman on the phone. She was speaking loudly, presumably to a colleague, and crikey, did she think she sounded clever! I wrote down some phrases that particularly struck me. The list that follows consists only of the phrases she used more than once:
"We need a starter-for-ten agenda."
"That's the absolute drop-deadline."
"Can you lean on the time-scales?"
"..at close of playday..."
"We should microwave that one but the other one's a slow-cooker." [She didn't mean a TV dinner.]
"It's a decision in transit situation, then?"
Yeah, I know what they mean, of course. That's not the point. The point is the clubbiness, the in-speak, and the ugly pointless messing around with words, in ways which don't make meaning clearer or more beautiful.
Self-conscious, affected. Ugh.
Until Mr M managed to stop working for a certain large company - speak not its name in my presence, unless I am armed with garlic and a silver cross - he was plagued by the ugly contortions of the language. He used to come back from work with tales of weasel phrases bandied about in the usually pointless meetings that held him back from his real work (and, indeed, the company's real work). Phrases wouldn't last long because "they" always had to create new ones as soon as anyone had got used to the old ones.
One I remember: "We need to schedule his on-boarding."
There were also a whole load of abbreviations, which one was supposed to know in order to avoid withering looks.
Can you guess the meaning of these: