least in journalism. Whilst musing and pondering a variety of topics I came to an underlying theme of language. Now I am no linguist, in fact I am handicapped still further (but I do know it’s not farther – I think) by an amazing capacity for missed typos, but I have ears and a sense of aesthetic and it strikes me some words and phrases are just plain ugly, especially when you consider what a rich lexicon English offers us. So, for no reason other than to alleviate may own boredom, and with the vain hope you’ll avoid them in conversation with me, here is my top x list (x being the unknown at this point):
Deliverables – what exactly is this mess of a word?
Used by people in meetings already too long as a shortened version of ‘things that the project will deliver’. Will the seconds saved really help?
Mumpreneur – I haven’t made that up.
It even has its own website. I blame a friend whose identity I will protect for introducing me to it. Really why is a female entrepreneur with children any different to a male one, or one without, or one looking after parents? Apart from the fact that it butchers the original word to create this rather ‘cuddly’ (I imagine) sounding word it suggests that these entrepreneurs are somewhat different than ‘real’ ones (otherwise they would use same word surely?). Where will it end?
Kind Regards – please can we stop, especially the shortened ‘regards’.
What was wrong with the perfectly erviceable ‘yours sincerely’, ‘yours faithfully’ and, for those confused by friend or stranger, ‘thank you’. Each time I read this at the end of a letter or automatic signature I simply assume the writer is trying to sell me double glazing, has no command of English and had a previous career saying ‘have a nice day’.
Networking event – not so much the phrase this time as the concept.
Actually the word ‘networking’ is also a problem. “Had a good networking evening.” Do you work for CISCO or some other cable company? In truth no networks are created – a network has nodes and links. Most ‘networking’events consist of someone trying to flog something to someone else. That’s not a network that’s just annoying.
CEO – again I have no issue with the acronym, makes perfect sense.
What bothers me is way everyone from the window cleaner to the head of Apple is now referred to as a CEO. Let’s think about the words, Chief Executive Officer, the ‘boss’ of a collection of executive officers. In other words not a general manger, not an owner, not a managing director. Please, unless you have a 1,000 plus employees or are listed on a major exchange simplify the language.
Spin-out company – you were laid off and now you are doing a similar thing and scratching for work.
Executive – why is everyone in marketing an executive?
If you are paid something around national average wage, even plus £10k, I’m sorry but regardless of nameplate you are not an executive.
Vice president (VP) – is there anyone in the States who isn’t a VP?
Mentor – who isn’t or doesn’t have one nowadays?
Well apart from me that is. I receive and give advice – that’s part of being the social animal that is human but this word has become massively overused.
Business angel – does anyone even have a workable definition for this?
Seems to range from a more acceptable form of venture capital (and why in a capitalist society should that be a problem?) to people with a little bit of money and too much ‘advice’ to give. Sleeping partners, silent partners and business partners were all perfectly workable terms. Venture capital provides the social distance for the more detached version – the suffix angel doesn’t fool anyone –or perhaps it does?
I’ll stop there as 10 is a nice round number and I fancy a coffee and a slice of cake before it sells out J