Modern English Translated


Perhaps it is because I am a member of the ‘Grumpy Old Men” generation. Perhaps it is because I am reasonably literate. Whatever the reason I find the usage of some modern phrases or words to be incredibly annoying. Most of them are imports from American corporate language but some are Albion’s very own.

To vent my spleen, and in an attempt to educate the verbally challenged, here are a few of my favourite hates and their translation. Sadly, people have said everyone of them to me and been serious.

  • Action: used to mean movement but now means anything that somebody else has to do
  • Address: meaningless waffle to avoid doing something as in “I will address your concerns”……at some point in the unspecified future.
  • Back-office:  the part of an organisation that actually does the work
  • Compooter:  Originally a South London corruption  meaning an electronic computational device that should be pronounced Computer.
  • Commie: Anyone who agrees with a left wing political view
  • Customer care: an Oxymoron
  • Excellence: average performance when used in a business sense
  • Fascist: Anyone who agrees with a right wing political view
  • Front-facing: The part of an organisation that deals with customers or the public
  • Green: Someone who is concerned about the planet but unable to understand basic economics, usually vegetarian.
  • Helicopter view: A summary
  • Impactful: a sure sign a cretin is speaking
  • Jawbone: persuade
  • Killer app: A new piece of software
  • Lessons have been learnt: ……..but the organisation will carry on as usual
  • Mission-critical: A PR phrase to militarise a straightforward business process in the vain hope of making it sound important.
  • Momentarily: used by Americans when them mean soon e.g. “The plane will be landing momentarily”. Ever tried disembarking from a momentarily landed plane?
  • Nucular: Nuclear
  • On-boarding: Recruit
  • Reach out: Ask
  • Right now at this moment in time: An imported Americanism meaning now
  • Sex-up: Con people by over-inflating a product’s charms as in glamour model/false breasts
  • Stakeholder: Anyone who is not a partner or an agency but out to be made to feel important and, hopefully, take the blame when things go wrong
  • Thinking outside the box: a sure sign a cretin is speaking
  • Unscrew: repair
  • Vector away: move
  • Windfarm: A taxpayers’ money-pit
  • Working with other partners (or agencies): A PR phrase to share blame but claim credit
  • Yoghurt: culture as applied to opera, theatre, music and so forth.
  • Zero-Zero split: Allegedly working on two projects while actually not working on either
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About ReidIvinsMedia

After working for many years in Higher Education I've decided to drop out and join, eventually, the self-employed. Here I blog about my interests which include education, politics, backpacking, poker, photography and real ale.
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