Blather Alert

6:00 PM -- A piece on today's BBC News Website asks the question: "Are bosses who talk of 'blue sky thinking' just full of hot air?"

    Needless jargon in the workplace is baffling employees and widening the divide between management and staff, a survey suggests.

    Investors in People said that the proliferation of phrases such as "blue-sky thinking" and "brain dump" was damaging to British industry.

    About a third of the 3,000 workers polled said they felt inadequate when wordy terms were needlessly used.

    Others believed bosses were being untrustworthy, or hiding something.
The accompanying list of objectionable jargon:

  • Blue-sky thinking
  • Get our ducks in a row
  • Brain dump
  • Think outside the box
  • Joined-up thinking
  • Drilling down
  • Push the envelope
  • The helicopter view
  • Low-hanging fruit
I'd add to that: Beware of anything involving a "New Paradigm." If it means anything at all, it's bound to include more busywork.

Interestingly, the Investors in People survey found that the Scots are particularly exercised (Freedom!) about managerial blather:

    A survey of Scottish workers found that more than half were fed up with bosses using management jargon with two-thirds preferring no jargon at all in the workplace.
They've got their own jargon, of course, and it's much more colourful. Elsewhere on the BBC site, we find an unrelated Scottish/English glossary, which includes the following gems:

  • Scots: Am gonna redup noo an'gaw fera bevvy.
    BBC: It's 5pm on Friday, and I'm going to clear my desk and get to the pub pronto.

  • Scots: Yer erse is oot the windae.
    BBC: You are unlikely to achieve the desired result with that kind of behaviour.
I'm gonna use that last one.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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