When boardroom jargon plumbs new depths of ridiculousness, it’s time for some distraction
Boardroom jargon, or perhaps I should say BOREDroom jargon. It has its own special reputation, doesn’t it? It’s a type of customised language, often tailored for ridiculous verbosity. Some might say that it sucks enough to make your eyes water or to sob into your cold cup of tea. But help is at hand. Read on for a couple of simple but effective tips about how to unsuck the boardroom jargon. I promise it will change the way you approach those dreaded meetings.
In the beginning, there was Wank Word Bingo
If you were an office worker in the late 1990s or early 2000s, you were probably familiar with the office funnies that did the rounds, typically by fax. They were the prehistoric versions of memes.
One of the best was the Wank Word Bingo scorecard. It served as welcome relief from the appalling overuse of some of the most offensive phrases in the English language: wanky boardroom jargon. Such phrases included:
- Take that off-line
- Move the goalposts
- Proactive not reactive
And the rules were simple:
- Sit in a meeting with your scorecard
- Tick off every word or phrase as it was mentioned
- Yell “bingo!” (with enthusiasm and gusto) when you scored five
- Revel in the shocked expressions of your co-workers who weren’t in on the joke
It was a ripper of a way to cope with dreadful boardroom lingo. It was also an incentive to everyone to consider their language choices or risk becoming the butt of the joke.
Ah, those were heady days indeed.
Unsuck ain’t proper English, innit?
Fast-forward to pandemic-ravaged 2020, when boardroom meetings were replaced with video-conferencing, then back to boardroom meetings, then video-conferencing and then who-bloody-well-knows-what-will-happen-in-2022.
Whatever form your meeting takes, eye-watering boardroom jargon probably continues to lurk, and some enthusiastic attendees will persist with their wanky word terms.
In short, these meetings suck. You need a way to make them unsuck. And before you take offence at my poor English, I’ll point you to the Urban Dictionary, which defines “unsuck”:
“to improve the condition of something that otherwise sucked …”
How to unsuck the boardroom jargon: what’s the special ingredient?
Whether you’re Zooming your meetings or bravely stumping up to the boardroom to play Covid dodgeball, unsucking the boardroom jargon is priority numero uno for you, my friend. But use it with caution lest a bit of workplace disciplinary action should befall you. But let’s not get highbrow about this.
There’s this tool called Unsuck It, an online office jargon dictionary. It’s free. It’s funny. Every office worker and public servant needs it. Corporate lingo was never this funny. Just keep a poker face during your meetings, and you’ll be right as rain.
As much as I love the Wank Word Bingo scorecard, it is a little dated. So let’s take Unsuck It for a spin with some more modern phrases (that are just as offensive):
Bio break (That’s a wee to you and me)
Ideation session (It’s a meeting, people. A meeting!)
Blue-sky thinking (Impossible jargon-y thoughts)
Disambiguate (Let’s have some granularity, puh-lease!)
T-shaped (Even a headless chook can do this job)
Accelerated emergence of high maturity behaviours (FFS. No. Really?)
You get the idea. I could go on for days.
Delightfully, Unsuck It also has a wildcard search button, labelled I’m Feeling Douchey. Plenty of material to help you disappear down a rabbit hole until the end of the meeting. And the end of all meetings that ever were.
So you see, those corporate meetings need not be a waste of time. Make ‘em fun and fab. Make ‘em less sucky. And for the love of all things, make sure you contact Unsuck It to submit any pearlers that come your way.
So there you have it
I think I’ve really opened the kimono on boardroom jargon. It may have been a brain dump on my part, but if it’s given you an aha moment, then it’s mission accomplished for me. So whip out your Wank Word Bingo scorecard, fire up the Unsuck It website and transform your boardroom meeting experience. C’mon. You know you want to.
If you’re wondering how to unsuck boardroom jargon from your website, why not reach out to me? Actually, on second thought, that seems a bit gross and over-familiar. Maybe just get in touch because simplifying complex language is what I do. It’s my (douche) bag.
Have you come across any boardroom jargon that needs unsucking?
Comment below and let’s get to work.