The first casualty of business is English

I don't mean to be unfair by singling out one individual in the IT industry when so many others are guilty of the same offence, but the following quote from Dick Fens, chief executive at Bull UK and Ireland, from a story on MicroScope today, shows just how far business-speak has moved from the langu

I don't mean to be unfair by singling out one individual in the IT industry when so many others are guilty of the same offence, but the following quote from Dick Fens, chief executive at Bull UK and Ireland, from a story on MicroScope today, shows just how far business-speak has moved from the language of ordinary day to day discourse.

Commenting on the appointment of Andrew Carr, Fens said: "I am confident that he is ideally suited to identifying, developing and executing our new go-to-market plan, enabling us to transition and transform the business while achieving the targets we have set."

"Executing" is one of those words that just sounds horrible in any context apart from when it means "putting to death" purely because of its association with "putting to death". A quick look through the Thesaurus comes up with far more suitable alternatives such as 'carry out', 'accomplish' or 'achieve'.

"Transition" and "transform" are also big business-speak favourites but, again, there are far more suitable and simple alternatives such as 'change', 'convert', 'overhaul' or 'revamp'. It doesn't help that, in this case, putting those two words so closely together is redundant because they both, more or less, mean the same thing.
This was first published in May 2011

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