Much ado: more about corporate jargon

« previous post | next post »

Never has so little been said in so many expostulatory words.

Do people really talk this way?

Empty verbiage.  Empty minds.


Selected readings

[Thanks to François Lang]


  1. Philip Taylor said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 8:52 am

    I find myself ambivalent — much as I loathe and detest 99.95% of all today's business jargon, I still look back with fondness and nostalgia at yesterday's (e.g.,) "We are in receipt of your esteemed favour of even date …" and to this day continue to write ult., inst. and prox. to refer to last month, this month and next month respectively.

  2. Dave said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 9:32 am

    As here, the best way to enjoy jargon is to use it in completely inappropriate registers. (as with the Stilbruch in clothing oneself, it's a way to demonstrate that although one could master the style without difficulty, one has absolutely no intention of becoming a slave to it)

  3. Dave said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 9:38 am

    Eg. wrt. Philip Taylor's comment, I hope someday someone will (syllables and meter permitting!) write "The Christmas ulterior I did bestow upon you my heart, doting upon the exchange"

  4. Richard Hershberger said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 12:15 pm

    @Philip Taylor: I once drafted a letter for my boss that was addressed to two men, so I made the greeting "Dear Messrs. …] He made me change it, alas.

  5. Philip Taylor said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 12:41 pm

    I seem to recall, Richard, that "Messrs" should be used before two (or more) men’s names only when those names form a part of the name of a business. So (for example) "Messrs B & N Desai, Ltd". If I am writing to two men who do not jointly run a company the name of which includes both of their names I would normally write "Dear Mr X, dear Mr Y — ".

  6. Robert Coren said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 9:39 pm

    @Richard Hershberger: If this was a letter that, if addressed to one man, would have started "Dear Sir", then I think the correct corresponding form would be "Dear Sirs".

  7. Chas Belov said,

    February 20, 2024 @ 1:38 am

    @Philip Taylor: I am much more permissive in my use of Messrs. For example, I think of, and sometimes address, unknown (single) dogs as Mr. Woof. If I see multiple such dogs at once, I think of them as Messrs. Woof. I sincerely doubt any of them run a company.

  8. Chas Belov said,

    February 20, 2024 @ 1:54 am

    I acknowledge I would do any more than verbally address them as such. I certainly would not write them a business letter.

  9. Chas Belov said,

    February 20, 2024 @ 1:54 am

    *would not do

  10. Mike Grubb said,

    February 20, 2024 @ 12:25 pm

    Is anyone else surprised that "content creators" so attentive to language and invested in expressing the fruits of their cleverness would allow "Coporate" out of the gate?

  11. Chris Button said,

    February 20, 2024 @ 1:58 pm

    In addition to jargon, there's also the sort of fluff parodied in this hilarious spoof:

RSS feed for comments on this post