Good Riddance to Dated Lingo

By William Thomas

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Like me, the economy probably has you confused and just a tad frustrated. A year ago, I looked at my investments and savings and I saw that proverbial rainbow arching over my oncoming rainy days. I looked again yesterday. Then I drove to the largest bridge I could find intending to jump. Unfortunately, Paul Martin, Alan Greenspan, Warren Buffett, Bernie Madoff, and my bank manager had gotten there before me. I had to take a number. Hoping the world will benefit from my demise, I’m trying to talk Martha Stewart into a tandem jump.

You have to know the world economy is in deep, deep trouble when you read that last year’s biggest money-makers were those pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. Think about that. When Somali pirating starts offering public shares - and given Wall Street’s track record, don’t think this couldn’t happen – I’m investing!

Seriously, one of the most depressing aspects of the world’s sinking economy is the language that’s been used by the *captains of industry* to describe it.

I’m sure by now you too are linguistically exasperated particularly if you have recently been *deployed* or made *redundant* and you’ve been identified as having a *carbon footprint* larger than a sasquatch ever since the muffler fell of your *pre-owned* pickup truck manufactured by the smallest of *The Big Three*. And you’re thinking and thinking, trying to take it to *the next level*, trying *to break through the clutter*, but the only thing that’s happening *outside the box* involves your cat and the litter.

Well, *at first blush*, I’m as embarrassed about this as you are. Honest. *I feel your pain*. *My thoughts and prayers go out to you*.

Which is why I’m taking *incremental opportunity*, as *a merger of equals*, to *realize your shareholder value* and explain the mangled language of the business world to you.

*Synergy*? The Ink Spots had synergy. Fred and Ginger had synergy. Today’s world of corporations? Mostly just sin.

*Get on the same page*? Unfortunately, we’re all on page 1 of a very big boring book.

*Paradigm*. The word means “pattern” and is used by a blue-suiter who wants you to think he knows as much about *Wall Street* as he does about *Main Street*. *Paradigm shift*. His nickname is “Shifty.”

*Subprime*? Slime. *Pre-approved*? Run for your life. *Zero-percent financing*? Would it kill them to say “no interest?” See *forward-looking statements*. Forecasts.

*Downsizing*? Certainly not Oprah!

*Core competency*? Like those fake gold core samples Bre-X used to bilk millions from investors. “The definition of a gold mine is a hole in the ground with a crook at the top.” -Mark Twain.

*Greed is good*? The Wall Street motto that got us into this mess. Sorry, *meltdown*. *The perfect storm*. Storms are not perfect, they’re disasters.

*Game changing*? Therein lies the problem. The game was banking with rules and regulations and then they changed the game - to gambling. Mortgages, insurance, investments, high-return risks that were also high - banks might as well take our money and go to Las Vegas, but Vegas has rules.

*The pendulum has swung too far*? The pendulum can’t swing too far, genius. That’s why it’s on a string.

*The customer experience*? *Customer centric*? No *value-added* here that I can see.

*Low hanging fruit*? Wouldn’t touch that with a high-reaching pole!

*An integrated solution*? A non-integrated solution would be a fractionalized problem. Integration equals solution plus MC squared, Einstein.

*Grow your business*? Grow your garden. Operate your business with a “people first” principle.

*We are reviewing our strategic alternatives*. We’re spinning like a top and looking for quick answers from psychics and snow cones.

*A sea of change*? The sea she is a changing, up one degree each year. The warming of the ocean causes massive natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and George Bush. Global warming is rooted in our addiction to oil and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. *The integrated solution*? *Drill, baby! Drill!*

*Optics*? Fuzzy. *Sea change*? We’re seasick of it all. And where’s my *bail out*?

So there it is. Sorry, *it is what it is*. I hope that *made it pop* for you.





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