The world of business is rife with clichés – we’ve all used them. As a marketer, I am almost expected to use them. I feel that they are used as a buffer to cover up a lack of knowledge in a certain area or to try and ‘impress’ people – I can assure you, I’m not impressed.
I would go as far as to say that they can be damaging in the sense that they can create a negative perception of you and the company you represent.
I once had dealings with a creative director who was talking about ideas for a website. She assured me that the more comprehensive the brief at the start, the greater the chances of delivering the website on time. “Makes sense to me” you utter, and yes it does, but unfortunately she phrased it as “A stitch in time saves nine”. I from then on just dubbed her the cliché lady – a bit harsh perhaps.
The Real Meaning:
The classic clichés I hear regularly are below. They are also accompanied by a less, shall we say, ‘douchey’ way of putting them:
Modus Operandi = how will we do this and for what purpose?
Touch base = get in contact
Liaise = communicate with
Pushing the Envelope = do it well and preferably better than last time
Outside-of-the-box = lets be original or alternative to current competitors
Synergy = lets work together
Going forward = from now on (as opposed to changing the course of our history)
Bring your ‘A’ game = do your best
My ‘two cents’ = that’s my contribution to the meeting
What really annoys me is that entrepreneurs and business people are often not getting enough credit for their achievements in comparison to the stars in arts and sport. Ironically however, business clichés have somehow seeped into disciplines out of business e.g. how many rugby commentators have you recently heard dub a player as a ‘quality operator’. Dear God!
It’s like this: a term should only be created for something when the current language can’t quite describe something. I’ve decided that I’m going to put a ‘cliché’ jar on my desk. If I say one – I pay. Simple as.
Anyway, catch you on the flipside… D’oh! (clink).
Do you use clichés? Why? Do they annoy you? What are your additions to my list?