One good cliche deserves another

While teleconferencing at work, I jotted down a list of actually-used platitudes and business speak. I think if you take all the “real” words out of the conversation, you can still tell pretty much what’s going on:

Left holding the bag
Dealt a bad hand
Coming on board (many times)
Troubled spots
Didn’t let the ball drop
Coming on board (many times)
Break bread
Swimming upstream
Full-court press
The bad guys have our money in their pockets — we’re going to go after it
Coming on board (many times)
Leveraging the business
I see the light at the end of the tunnel

Try commenting with a quick translation. With actual words.

6 Responses to One good cliche deserves another

  1. Aakaash says:

    Some of these may be obvious, but I love me some corporate speak. So here are my contributions.

    Left holding the bag: “We’re fucked”
    Dealt a bad hand: “Should have folded the fuckin’ Q 7 off-suit”
    Coming on board: “We were wrong”
    Troubled spots: “Never crossed our mind before”
    Didn’t let the ball drop: “Don’t fuck up”.
    Coming on board: “We give up”
    Break bread: “They like our money”
    Swimming upstream: “We fucked up”
    Full-court press: “We fucked up and now we have to Cover our Asses”
    The bad guys have our money in their pockets — we’re going to go after it: Actually, I thought this was pretty good – clear and direct. Way to go!
    Coming on board: “The money worked”
    Leveraging the business: “We have more money than they do”
    I see the light at the end of the tunnel: It SHOULD mean “I’m dead” but probably means “Ohhhhhhhhhhh….I get it”

    And in the glorious tradition of things coming to India late, I have been hearing an alarming number of “out-of-the-box”es lately. Hasn’t that been outlawed yet?

  2. dbay says:

    Like I keep saying, Mr. K, I hope you’re compiling these and plan to write a book someday. Forget fiction—clearly your calling is witty essays! Let me know if you need a manager.

  3. Kris says:

    Thanks dbay!

    And now, please excuse this moment of obscure sock puppet reference:

    cardboard box: How do I get out of this box?

    Sifyl: Wait, dude, maybe you are a box.

    cardboard box: I’m a box?

  4. Kris says:

    and the translations are hilarious! The “bad guys have got our money in their pockets” was good, it almost made me care about what they were talking about. THIS close.

  5. Aaron says:

    Since I now work with you, Kris, and was probably even ON that call, I think it’s best I don’t answer. Because I could accurately nail 90% of those.

  6. […] This ties in to an earlier post about words that mean little in themselves, but have a great deal of currency in the work place. Cliches. Personally, I would be happy if we all stopped using “counter-” everything. Counterintuitive, counterproductive, etc. though I really like counterpontal. Maybe we can keep counterpontal. what do you think? […]

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