Corporate communicators spend countless hours dealing with jargon.
We delete it. We replace it. We enforce style guide rules related to it. We argue about it. Managing jargon is a staple in many careers.
Sometimes it’s fun to embrace jargon. Below are 20 outlandish examples of corporate jargon that could be used when speaking with co-workers, or with your boss, or at just the right moment during a meeting. (Terms come from the Urban Dictionary and The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary.)
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1. Anecgloat—a story that makes the speaker look good.
Before every department meeting we hear some anecgloat about sports.
2. Anticipointment—how you feel when something does not live up to its hype.
Many of our executives felt anticipointment when the results of the engagement survey were announced.
3. Bacon job—a project with plenty of volunteers.
Working that conference in Las Vegas is this year’s bacon job.
4. Break someone’s crayons—to harm or offend a person.
I don’t mean to break your crayons, but you need to work on your people skills.
5. Captive lunch—when management brings in food at noon.
The pizza for today’s captive lunch comes at a steep price: Dale is being honored as Employee of the Month.
6. Chicken shop—a company or department that produces substandard work. Everyone knows Purchasing is the chicken shop of the company.
7. Createalytics—manipulating data to support a decision that’s already been made.
We have to come up with some createalytics to support our use case.
8. Deceptionist—a receptionist whose job is to delay and/or block visitors.
Jill, the third-floor deceptionist, kept one sales guy waiting for 45 minutes.
9. Delagatorship—a department run by someone incapable of making a decision.
Russell has only been successful in his delagatorship because Amy and Mark do all the work.
10. Enmail—an email sent for documentation purposes, proving that you sent the information in writing.
Be sure to send Evelyn’s employee improvement plan by enmail.
11. Macromanager—a manager who tries to direct matters outside his or her department.
Why does the Purchasing supervisor feel the overwhelming need to macromanage everyone?
12. Meeting assassin—a person who hijacks meetings by asking excessive questions or making endless follow-up comments.
The IT meeting became tolerable once we learned meeting assassin Steve would not be attending.
13. Overtime mail—a superfluous email sent to your boss after hours to let him/her know how late you’re working.
I stayed late to finish my post and sent it by overtime mail to Anna.
14. Percussive maintenance—”fixing” a piece of office equipment by hitting it repeatedly.
Our balky color printer has seen a lot of percussive maintenance over the years.
15. PowerPointless—graphics and animations that distract and annoy your audience.
That star swipe before the second slide is PowerPointless.
16. Prebuttal— to address an opposing viewpoint before it’s expressed.
I respectfully submit these technical specifications as a prebuttal to your objections.
17. Unknown unknowns —the most uncertain of uncertainties.
“In this job, you must be aware of all the unknown unknowns,” Diane said ominously.
18. Uptitling— changing a person’s title to something more impressive instead of giving them an actual promotion.
Was Jaime recently uptitled to Human Resources Guru?
19. Vubicle—a cubicle with a window.
There was no fair way to decide who would sit in the vubicle overlooking the river, so we played Battleship for it.
20. Work stack—a list of assigned tasks.
I have too much on my work stack to take a vacation this year.
Readers, care to share your own examples of ridiculous (yet amusing) corporate jargon?
Laura Hale Brockway is a regular contributor to PR Daily . Read more of her posts on writing, editing and corporate life at impertinentremarks.com.