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Office Angels: Scrap Jargon for Plain Speaking

By Paperstone on January 17, 2010 in Fun, Office Workers

Office angels have published a list of ridiculous office jargon phrases in a bid to return workers to “plain English”. Some, like “Singing from the same hymn sheet,” “Let’s run it up the flagpole and see if it flies” and “Moving or going forward” are already old hat, even while retaining a unique sense of meaninglessness. Fresher treats include:

  • “We need the right Pin numbers” (= “We need it to work”)
  • “I’m coming into this with an open kimono” (= throwing an idea out into the open but being open to criticism)
  • “Finger in the air figure” (= "just an estimate")
  • “I think someone needs a bite of the reality sandwich (= “Get practical”)
  • “A lighthouse on a cloudy night (= coming up with a good/bright idea)
  • “Granularity of detail” (= “detail”)

Spokesperson for Plain English Campaign Marie Clair said, “It’s no secret that any efficient work environment is built on clear information.

“Particularly in these times of economic crisis, we need to dump the clever phrases and use clear thinking and straightforward language in our communications.”

But getting workers to abandon redundant language that nevertheless makes them feel more professional may be like herding cats.


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