The Definitive Guide to What They Said vs. What They Meant

September 18, 2011

1:00 pm

Now that we are in the full swing of the political season, the spinmeisters are running wild – and many entrepreneurs are picking up the spun-lingo. The use of language – like morphing the negative term global warming into the the more neutral climate change – is just one example of the kind of spin that fries my shorts.

This crappy BS talk makes me cranky, so I have created for you my own little course on Marketing BS.

What They Said What They Meant
We are industry thought leaders We’re not thoughtful enough to think up our own clichés
Our stakeholders People we’re supposed to care about but don’t
In my humble opinion I’m brilliant, you’re an idiot, so ignore me at your peril
With all due respect You suck
To be honest Every time I don’t prefix a statement with “to be honest” I’m lying – and I am also lying even when I do
No offense, but… Duck fast…incoming
I need you to think outside the box Try and be creative and don’t use tired old jargon like me
Core competency Yada yada yada
Let’s take this off-line Ack, I can’t believe you said that
Best of breed We’re breeding drones
Manage expectations Disaster control
So many people are drinking their kool-aid They are kicking our butts
Cutting edge Bring a first aid kit
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it I have no friggin’ idea what I’m doing
It’s water under the bridge I’m the boss and I’m not going to say I’m sorry so just skip it
Let’s not beat a dead horse Do as a say and not as I just said
We’ve invented the next big thing We have a really cool thing but we can’t find anyone who wants it
Our core competency is What is it again that you said you needed?
We’ve a disruptive technology Sure it’s a little like Google but our search engine alphabetizes its results.

Now the good news is that is appears that more and more English speakers are entering the business word and bullshit is leaving the lexicon – although the word bullshit may be coming into vogue again as our own Frank Gruber recently called “bullshit” on a large online media controversy right here just a few days ago).  And you know what doesn’t suck as much as it use to?  The word suck has become acceptable office-speak.

So why don’t you leave a comment below and add to my list?  I’m sure I missed a boatload of bullshit terms.

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Glen Hellman (@glehel), is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and works for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He is the Chief Entrepreneureator at Driven Forward LLC, frequently muses on his blog, Forward Thinking, and works with entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to do and get them to do it.

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