Understanding Corporate Speak Before Starting Your New Job

Understanding Corporate Speak Before Starting Your New Job

Corporate Speak has become a new middle-class language for the 21st century version of the 1980s yuppies. You’ve heard the terms and they are cringe worthy to say the least. The same corporate drivel is written on documents, CVs and is heard as young get up and go “driven and motivated” people are hunting that elusive version of the corner office; to make it in the corporate world. Before you all begin to bang your heads on your desk as you read the following, remember, we are on your side. It’s not big and it’s not clever.

Understanding Corporate speak

“Thinking outside the Box”

How many times is this stupid comment heard from people? What box? You’re working for a person who has worked his way up from nothing to build a company that you’re trying to impress and the last think any recruiter wants to hear is “I’m able to think outside of the box”. Let’s be the bearer of bad news, there is no box, listen.

There is no box, it’s a job and you have to be able to think at all times to keep up. The English language is bastardized enough without adding more comments for those who can be bothered to learn our language as a second string to their bow. Don’t say it, ever!


Yes, the word “driven” usually followed by “and ambitious” is a word that is used that often, people think it’s coming into prohibition. Cars and vehicles are driven, not people. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of energy and keenness, but your body language, a well-written CV and being straight-forward and upfront will show that you’re in the market for doing well in the job you have chosen and been chosen for.

“I give 110%”

There is no such thing as being able to give anything other than 100% of your ability to anything. Say that and people automatically will know you’re useless at mathematics and you’re parroting words that you hear from other “wannabes”. Where has the other 10% come from?  Who came up with the extra 10%?


Oh for pity’s sake, the word is agreement. The word is stupid, even the spell-checker doesn’t recognise it. Nobody is in agreement that agreeance is any such word that should be used in the office or on a document. It’s an old word that was used in the 19th century. Are we in agreement?

At the end of the day”

I cringe when I see or hear this. This declares the speaker has delivered something that his/her audience understands. If you’re speaking clearly and concisely, you’ll be understood without that mad statement; particularly if the end of the day hasn’t yet been reached.


Here we go again. It might sound attractive as it rolls off the tongue but the simple fact is that “use” is still a word in the English Oxford Dictionary. If you’ve lost your pen, your colleague doesn’t hand one over and say “Leverage this pen for the day”. No he or she will say “Use this one for now”.

There’s a whole range of new corporate jargon that is becoming everyday language and we know that languages evolve, we understand that, but at least make sure they make sense.

Corporate speak is damaging UK business according to some and even the ‘posh toffs’ in the Commons had a debate on the matter (let’s face it, nothing is more pressing than this “issue”). The new language that is not as bad as the horrific and lazy text speak is sickeningly “assmosis” and does nothing to endear any person to you. It’s marginalising the job and misleading to people who think that the only requirement to get on in life is to be able to have a few words that will grant you the job.