Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Consultant speak

I came across this article through the Spot On PR Netvibes page, and decided to create my own list of similar terms. Terms that you'll almost never go to a client or agency meeting and not hear. Some of these are also common in all press releases. Try scanning every single press release posted on AMEinfo and you're bound to find common terms. In fact, maybe we can play spot the difference one day. Like pick 10 press releases about a similar type of product, for example, a new uber cool plasma TV, and look at how many adjectives are commonly used across all 10.

But to begin with, here are a few 'consultant' words, what they actually mean, and why I hate using them:

1. Retrenchment
Definition: cutting down / reducing expenses. Very commonly used now thanks to the economic crisis.
A.k.a : cut cost. There. nice and simple.

2. Pragmatic
Definition: practical. 'nuff said.

3. Streamlined
Definition: flowing steadily.
A.k.a.: optimal.

4. Paradigm Shift
Definition: change in approach / trends.
A.k.a.: change.

Then there's of course all the wonderful superlatives, which the Dubai advertising industry loves so much:

I'm waiting for someone to use "Bestest".

Contributions, please!


  1. Transforming
    Furthering the commitment

  2. Having worked in aviation for a long time, the industry goal was to produce simple English that will be used by technicians (especially non english speakers) to reduce confussion and improve maintenance.
    Having said that I also have worked with consultants that thought without the big words the report is amateurish and will be percieved as useless. Personally I enjoy simpler English it makes two way communication much easier.
    So maybe, with superlatives we have a failuer to communicate or may be the idea was not to communicate just grand stand.
    And yes Mai I do use Bestest but only among friends. Great blog and BESTEST Regards


  3. I know it's not the most jargony one, but I nominate the phrase 'managing expectations'. I like it because what you're really saying is "make sure the client knows it could all go to sh*t so we won't have a lot of explaining to do when it does"