Presumptuous Biz-Speak

reaching out

There are plenty of modern business cliches which are spouted every day. Since about the 1950s business has prided itself in coming up with comically nonsensical euphemisms for annoying things. Businessmen can seldom speak proper English and are often badly educated. They know this. Being in the presence of well educated people who can speak proper and effective English is very uncomfortable for them. So they resort to the false-elegance of using many syllables for something which really needs only one. It’s an attempt to elevate their status.

We have all had to suffer through “interfacing with the infrastructure”, “communicating through the telephonic device”, “malfunction of the service provided” and more blathery poop. Most of that is just grist for the humor mill. You laugh at your boss’ grandiosity behind his back and keep on.

The latest stupidity has appeared in my world about 6 months ago. “Reaching out”. Phffffft. It’s always used by some really low level flunky who is reading it off a card and wants you to buy some useless and expensive item, something that they will have to hump and bump you to buy, like a service warranty for your ear buds, or they may be trying to get you to add on to a contract that you bought,”…but your cat would love to watch the Mouse Hole Channel for only an extra $19.99 per month” or the dreadful “you can put it in the CLOUD [and get permanently locked out because you forgot your 23 character password].”

Often I have had them grandiloquently rrrrrroll their r’s as in “…rrrrrreaching owwwt to yooooo”. After we have all been through the humbling experience of the Great Recession, do we really need to continue to cling to the tired old idea that false grandness will get us anywhere? I would be a damned sight more likely to sit and listen to someone who was straightforward, courteous, and normal, rather that some comically pompous buffoon; only comically pompous buffoons talk about “reaching out” to people instead of e-mailing them or calling them.

Fabienne Christenson can’t do everything right, but she can speak and write mostly proper and acceptable English and she makes terrific perfume. Come and visit her site, www.possets.com and see for yourself.

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