Blue Sky Thinking
At the end of the day and when all's said and done, the state of
play is that clichés rule the roost.
A recent survey by the plain English campaign highlighted at
the end of the day as the most irritating phrase in common use, closely
followed by At this moment in time.
They say: "Using these terms in
daily business is about as professional as wearing a novelty tie or having a
wacky ring tone on your phone,"
Business is, of course, where these modes of speech flourish.
They are used by shallow men with little imagination and less knowledge of
English and they spread like wildfire through the offices of the
The sad thing is that many of these phrases actually take longer
to say than the plain English alternative. Take this will impact on
something. Surely the word hit means the same as impact on and it
only has one syllable.
But due credit must be given to those who coined phrases such as
Thinking outside the box and Ball park figure. These are simile
and metaphor alive and well in the sterile world of business. They showed
imagination and originality on the part of the originators.
there is no imagination or originality shown by those who trot them out
repeatedly, like some new mantra. It's akin to re-telling a once amusing story
until the joke is stone cold dead.
So middle-managers of the world rise up and invent your own
clichés, really think outside that box for the first time in your
lives. Here's some I've just made up to get you started:
Your flies are undone on this one Jim (You've left yourself
Now we're making gravy! (This is going well. (Custard would be
You're the clockwork king (You don't have enough gadgets)
His remote's down the back of the sofa. (He does have gadgets
but can't work them)
He's a disk-jockey (He constantly talks rubbish)
You're zoomed in (You've got the general idea)
You're zoomed in and focussed up (You've really got the
You're "Making A Difference" (You're mad)
You're a real Lou Reed (You are grumpy and uncooperative. Could
be Van Morrison instead)
It's asbestos underpants time for you (You're in serious
I've just smartsynced my bluetooth PDA via GPRS (I'm a
What a Disani (What a cockup)
I'm with George W. on this one (I'm doing something rash)
He's a hopeless wally (He's a middle manager)
He has absolutely no idea what life is about (He's a senior
Be inventive enough and no-one will have the faintest idea what
you're talking about, they'll assume it's because they are not up to date with
the latest trends. Promotion is assured.
© Winamop & DA. March 2004
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