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April 9, 2002

I gotcher go-to-market strategy right here San Jose Mercury News columnist Peter Delevett collects, from his readers, business buzz phrases we’re all sick of now.
For starters, I suggested “at the end of the day” — a bit of nonsense favored by tech investors to say things like, “At the end of the day, we decided selling pet food online was a really stupid idea.” […]

“‘The reality is,’ because it denotes any other view or opinion as a fantasy.” — Gary A.

“‘I don’t disagree.’ I first started hearing this phrase at a dysfunctional dot-com. It’s weasel talk. The person is leaving themselves an out, so they can later recall that they didn’t agree with what you said.” — David P.

We are all guilty. [11:58 AM]
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Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on I gotcher go-to-market strategy right here:

Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 12:36 PM:

"Going forward" or "on a going-forward basis."aa"Space" (as in "the p2p space").

Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 02:12 PM:

"We are all guilty."aaWell, Patrick, I don't disagree, but at the end of the day, the reality is that we're stuck with these things, going forward in the Internet space.

John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 02:27 PM:

At the end of the day, it's morning in America.

Zed Lopez ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 03:16 PM:

'all on the same page' was a dotcom cliche that became a particular disfavorite of mine.

Josh ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 03:36 PM:

"Facilitate", "implement" and "vision". Special bonus points to the fine folks at 16types.com, who are presenting a lecture entitled "Facilitating Implementation of the Vision":aa"This session will provide you an overview of techniques on how to move the groups you facilitate or lead beyong the organizations [sic] vision in into [sic] implementation, while building employee buy-in along the way."

Beth Bernobich ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 03:59 PM:

Ooog, as Pogo Possum would say. These phrases are giving me dreadful flashbacks about my ex-boss.

Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 09:13 PM:

My offering, popular in my office: "Let me test my understanding of what you're saying." Translation: "You have this chance to prove that you're not the complete idiot I suspect you are."

Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2002, 10:11 PM:

Wow, since reading this I've been to one of those quarterly company theengs where they gungho you to death...I swear every. single. one. of these doublespeak buzzwords was used in the presentation. I thought I was gonna die.aaInstead, I just fell asleep...

Mary Kay Kare ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2002, 02:12 AM:

Oh no, wait. I've got a better one. Our marriage counselor thinks we should develop a vision statement for our relationship. This has lead me to think very seriously that she's just not the one we want.

Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2002, 03:20 PM:

A while ago, on Web Pages That Suck, Vince Flanders recommended that you never include a mission statement on your web page. Mission statements, he said, translate as, "All babies must eat." Mary Kay, why don't you try giving that to your marriage counselor as your "vision statement." At very least, it ought to confuse.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2002, 03:26 PM:

Quiz time. Name the organisation.aa"The purpose of ____________________ is to promote opportunity and independence for all through modern, customer-focused, services."

Steven 'Basher' Cain ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2002, 04:29 PM:

What a fine article from Mr Delevett: we should forbid these abuses of expression phrases immediately.aaEspecially the mealy mouthed 'I don't disagree'. aaThis is anathema to bullies everywhere, allowing inferior wusses to escape their obligations to their natural superiors. The servile creatures can avoid agreeing with mixtures of half truth and unreasonable assertions, while not explicitly provoking an honest beating.aa(Actually, we beats them up anyway!)aaWhatever, let's shout a big YES to straight talking and a resounding NO to conflict avoidance. Hurrah!

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2002, 05:40 PM:

Steven, do you think that was what the author had in mind? Or what I had in mind when I blogged it?

Steven Cain ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2002, 08:35 PM:

They surely didn't intend to assist bullying, nor I expect did the person he was quoting, but I'm not persuaded that the author bothered to consider if the assertions he quoted were sound. Of course, the article doesn't pretend to be anything more than a survey. There are some good examples of buzzword abuse, which I expect we all enjoyed. But my pleasure was reduced by dubious explanations. Do we really need recycled arguments about the fixed nature of intransitive verbs, or to be told that first and foremost have identical meanings and connotations? (The pedantry also seems faulty to me, but that's by the by.) aaThe 'I don't disagree' explanation seemed particularly weak. Deliberate use of this phrase openly signals the potential for subsequent disagreement. This isn't exactly full and frank disclosure but is surely open and honest in a rather careful way. The person quoted seems to be complaining that they need to be cautious when communicating in the workplace, rather than saying anything interesting about the deceitful use of buzzwords. But hey, maybe I'm a weasel, deluding myself that I'm a principled negotiator and erstwhile manager.aaWhatever. Guilty as implicitly charged. I did not explain this clearly with my previous comment. Although personal and corporate bullying are very real, this wasn't the point I was trying to make and it detracted from my main arguments. Poorly crafted irony is such a blunt tool if readers are not psychic.aaTo answer the second part of your question, neither did I think you intended to promote improved opportunities for bullies when you blogged. I'm not quite sure why you quoted 'I don't disagree' complete with explanation. I wonder if somewhere along the line you come to a different conclusion than I do. aaOr perhaps you're concentrating on extracting the good things from the article, which certainly prompted some witty and perceptive observations from less crotchety commentators than myself. Whereas I see mainly those aspects of the article which are tired and lacking in thought. Rather like some buzzwords.

Mike Sherwood ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2002, 09:40 AM:

Well at this point in time I gotta come clean & admit I use a form of one of these'a"I don't exactly disagree".Its a polite way of saying 'hay fellow-its almost always a guy- I can't give a straight answer to what you've just said because your language is so sloppy and question-begging that you might be saying something I'd die rather than conceed or maybe just a polite verbal facon de pavoir. Please learn to speak English before you presume to speak to your betters' Short crisp and it saves money on my dentistrya DMS