I’m holding my hand up - I’m guilty too.
If anything, journalists are the worst for cliche - the language of news invites the repetitive and the newsroom inhabitants enjoy jargon, metaphor and euphemism verging on the ridiculous - though it rarely goes out the door or is published (for good reason)
However, in defence of this profession, what we do do well is translate the complicated, tedious and utterly time-wasting jobsworth language of businesses, councils and government into sentences a human can understand.
We are translators - we boil down 10,000 word documents and mind-boggling statements, reports and press releases into the simple sentences one would utter to a friend in the pub.
It is unlikely you would bore your baffled friend with the unique strategic multi-agency initiative to diversify and streamline departments in line with European directive on rights and geographical strategy and it’s implications for practice in a static economy.
You’d rather say you’ve lost your job, I’d imagine.
And you’d rather find out your favourite local service is closing than read to the end of a incomprehensible 20-page report full of corporate jargon, stats and fluff.
So we do it for you.
Even if we do use the phrase ‘axe’ rather too often, we confess.
But pointless office language drives journalists to distraction.
It’s one thing calling a short story a NIB (news in brief), it’s another to pour out meaningless idioms and throwaway buzzwords, in a bid to feel clever and disguise real meaning.It’s not the length of the word or phrase that’s important, it’s the accuracy.
I’m a manager myself but I know if I asked any of my newsdesk staff to ‘peel an onion’ instead of examine a problem , to ‘punch a puppy’ to do something nasty or unpleasant for business reasons or ‘tackle the low-lying fruit’ , I’d be ‘thinking outside the box’ to find a new job.Management-speak does not a manager make.
Why ‘boil the ocean’ on utter drivel?
We all need to do is get our ducks in a row, make hay while the sun shines, take a helicopter view, look under the bonnet of the problem and say what you mean.
Here is https://londonoffices.com/ list of the 15 most baffling business buzzwords:
Blue sky thinking: To generate creative ideas free from any practical constraints.
Punch a puppy:To do something a bit nasty or unpleasant but which will be good for business.
Peel the onion: To examine a problem in detail.
To wash its own face: To justify or pay for itself.
Open the kimono: A creepy way to ask someone to reveal information.
Bleeding edge: When an idea is more than simply ‘cutting edge’.
Make hay: To be productive or successful in a short period of time.
Think outside the box: To approach a business problem in an unconventional way.
Over the wall: To send something to a client.
Boil the ocean: To waste time on a meaningless task.
Helicopter view: A broad view of the business.
Low hanging fruits: Avoiding the complicated route and opting to tackle the easy tasks and business wins first off.
Look under the bonnet: To analyse a situation or problem.
Get all your ducks in a row: Get organised.
Square the circle: Bring together two things which are normally entirely different.