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‘Lingua Franca’ just isn’t talking frank February 7, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.

Today I read a part of an e-mail from a famous IT director forwarded by Brian Dela. Not for the first time, I encountered new terms and phrases that are utterly meaningless other than to those who linger in the same mind frame as the author. Not surprisingly this original e-mail was intended for executives who no doubt understood every key phrase and buzz term in it. Have you ever sat and talked to a management person or business exec and wondered to yourself why they feel the need to converse in such bloated, meaningless conversation? Why do they feel the need to use buzz phrases of the month? Is the only way in which they can distinguish themselves by speaking a different language? Surely if they were doing a good job then it would speak for itself or at least be able to be summed up simply and plainly without need for dressings? I guess the Victorian upper class started the theme of using words that were not within the common domain but where this bunch of management types got the notion that combining the world’s simplest terms into would-be buzz words would ever make them stand out, I do not know! I appreciate open and frank discussion but I have to wonder as I progress in my career if I will ever meet another person (not fresh out of college) who doesn’t speak utter garbage in an attempt to sound like they are cutting edge. Some of these folk even smile discreetly when they use a new buzz phrase for the first time (if you watch closely you’ll see it sometimes coupled with a slight pause to hammer it home). How this ‘lingua franca’ of executive conversation evolved will remain a mystery but surely it will only spell problems for the future when everyone talks in riddles? After all progress is not always good, especially if we are becoming progressively vague…

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