My Paradox

Going forward, we achieve significance by leveraging translational services to deliver bleeding edge value-add from c-level points of interest to highly targeted c-level receptors. This arises directional queries as to the procedural efficacy and ROI going forward. Resultant to this is a directional correction phase which is expected to be temporary going forward.


A big part of my day job is the translation of executive buzzspeak into human-readable English. But the people who read my translations are primarily executive buzzspeakers themselves. That begs the question of the meaning and usefulness of my work. And thus, dear readers, is the stall that led to my current existential tailspin.


9 thoughts on “My Paradox

  1. There’s a difference between bafflegab and jargon.

    CEOs are people too, and will react better to clear writing than to cluttered writing — even if they understand every word of CEO doublespeak. What they won’t respect is the removal of specific jargon that signals that the writer is a member of the same club as the reader.

    So by all means rewrite someone who insists on uses bastardizations such as “we communicated telephonically” and uses the terms “synergy” and “solutions” the way most people use punctuation. As for the rest… writer, know thine audience.

  2. The occasional bit of jargon is fine as long as it actually has meaning. But what kills me is the bafflegab, which includes things like the ubiquitous “leverage” (95% of the time they just mean “use” and only 5% of the time are they actually leveraging something).

    Then there’s the never ending “going forward.” People, unless there’s a chance people might think you’re referring to “going backward,” there is NEVER a need to say “going forward.” It’s frakking implied, innit?

  3. Isn’t it just filler language? The written version of umm and uhhh and silence? I had a meeting lately, having been tossed into an aspect of business that I only before had read about, where the entire 45 min talk could have been summed up by 15 minutes of number reviews and a “it will save us money.” Unfortunately we talked about leveraging, goal achievement, etc. to spread the time. Complicated thoughts take time to sink in and the bafflegab gives speakers and readers the time to absorb.

    it still gives me a tummy ache and makes my bad eye twitch.

  4. Reminiscent of sales meetings I had at a previous employer where we would go to great lengths to continuously discuss how we must be more diligent at manning the phones, needed to be more available for our clients and thusly increae our sales. In holding these meetings, we would have to yank everyone off the phones and go figure, miss opportunities! I wanedt to laugh, but it was enough to make me cry! I quit.

  5. CBC is bad for that. Had to write a presentation that was supposed to appeal to them. Care to repurpose the paradigm in terms of diversity?

  6. AAAARRGGH! I HATE “Leverage.” What the HELL??? does that word mean? It impacts me greatly, let me tell you.

    I had to design a website ( for just this sort of business-ponce type who thought that the jargon would make his business look more professional.

    There are awards given out for this kind of pseudo-English, but what I want to know is, who sits around and makes this crap up? I had to translate a 160-page document from French to English about “Ecovolution” (huh??) so I know they do it too, but what kind of garden gnome sits around his (can’t be her) desk and makes this utter nonsense up?

    I leverage you to tell me.

  7. […] a technical documentation group. Yes, I’m switching out of marketing (due in no small part to my recent existential tailspin) and am returning to my roots. Go me. My daily commute will be longer, and my new office is, sadly, […]

  8. There’s that, and there’s “actionable.” In the real world, “actionable” means “able to provoke legal action.” It’s an ugly word, but it involves lawyers, so we’ll forgive it. But now, in the board room and in marketingspeak, “actionable” is an adjective that’s stuck onto any noun to give it more “umph.”

    Actionable intelligence! Actionable business knowledge! Actionable revenue!

    How about “actionable illiterates!”

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