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Business Jargon

By Max Mallet, Brett Nelson and Chris Steiner

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it.

Just don’t say you’re doing it.

If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon.

No longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.

Jargon masks real meaning,” says Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.”

To save you from yourself (and to keep your colleagues and customers from strangling you), we have assembled a cache of expressions to assiduously avoid.

Glossary: The Most Annoying Business Jargon

We also assembled a “Jargon Madness” bracket—similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament—featuring 32 abominable expressions.

Each day, for 32 days, readers will get to vote, via Twitter, on one matchup. The goal: to identify the single most annoying example of business jargon and thoroughly embarrass all who employ it and all of those other ridiculous terms, too.

In the meantime, here are some of the worst offenders Forbes has identified over the years. For a full list of 45, click here.

Core Competency

This awful expression refers to a firm’s or a person’s fundamental strength—even though that’s not what the word “competent” means.

“This bothers me because it is just a silly phrase when you think about it,” says Bruce Barry, professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Business. “Do people talk about peripheral competency?  Being competent is not the standard we’re seeking.  It’s like core mediocrity.”


This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business:

“Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team

In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

I had a colleague at a recent job that used pretty much all of these expressions. The missing term here is “added value,” which is to say that we could do something of value, but through the subjective judgement of a boss, it’s not valuable enough to justify doing something. It’s a passive-aggressive way of telling somebody, “I’m the boss and you’re not going to work on that,” without having to own up to it.

Check out the results of our Forbes “Jargon Madness” bracket.


Listening is a skill. Making someone feel heard is a gift.

My dad’s first words when I told him about my new job were, “It’s not very close to home.” I was a fresh college graduate in Missouri. He was back home in Maine and the job was in Pennsylvania.

By Dan Rockwell?

I did the easy thing. I heard words but I didn’t hear meanings.

Pennsylvania didn’t seem closer to him but it seemed closer to me. I resisted his words, observed he was right, and moved with my young family to live in the greater Philadelphia area.

I’m not saying I made a wrong decision. But I didn’t hear what dad meant.

Today, it sounds silly that I heard the words but didn’t hear meanings. I totally missed it. My excuses are youth and enthusiasm.

Now that my own children are out and on their own, I know what he meant. It wasn’t geography. It was relationship.

Words are partial truths. Foolish leaders listen; wise leaders hear. (or it is the way around?)

My dad didn’t say, “I want to stay connected with you.” He didn’t say, “I’ll miss my grandchildren.” He said the easier, less revealing truth.

Most of us say easier, less revealing, less vulnerable truths. We hide our truths in shadows.

You connect more deeply by realizing words are shadows.

Once in a while, dip below the surface and let those around you know you understand their concerns.

The best times to hear are when:

  1. New tensions or stresses arise.
  2. Procedures change.
  3. Business is down.
  4. Achievements are enjoyed.

Listen for and hear:

  1. Frustrations.
  2. Fears.
  3. Hopes.
  4. Aspirations.


  1. Reject the need to give solutions. This may be the hardest thing to do.
  2. Don’t make excuses.
  3. Withhold judgement.
  4. Help them think their own thoughts.

The goal of hearing is making people feel understood. People who feel understood open their hearts to your influence.

How do you listen in ways that make others feel understood?

Note: Listening skills requires many demands to acquire: readiness to accept the talker as a viable person, a level of maturity Not to disregard advice, readiness to be on the lookout for opportunities, respect of people regardless of genders, colors or “race”…


This is a motherfucking website.

“Good design is as little design as possible”.

Seriously, what the fuck else do you want?

You probably build websites and think your shit is special.

You think your 13 megabyte paralaxative home page is going to get you some fucking Award banner you can glue to the top corner of your site. You think your 40-pound jQuery file and 83 polyfills give IE7 a boner because it finally has box-shadow. Wrong, motherfucker. Let me describe your perfect-ass website:

  • Shit’s lightweight and loads fast
  • Fits on all your shitty screens
  • Looks the same in all your shitty browsers
  • The motherfucker’s accessible to every asshole that visits your site
  • Shit’s legible and gets your fucking point across (if you had one instead of just 5mb pics of hipsters drinking coffee)

Well guess what, motherfucker:

You. Are. Over-designing.

Look at this shit. It’s a motherfucking website. Why the fuck do you need to animate a fucking trendy-ass banner flag when I hover over that useless piece of shit?

You spent hours on it and added 80 kilobytes to your fucking site, and some motherfucker jabbing at it on their iPad with fat sausage fingers will never see that shit. Not to mention blind people will never see that shit, but they don’t see any of your shitty shit.

You never knew it, but this is your perfect website. Here’s why.

It’s fucking lightweight

This entire page weighs less than the gradient-meshed facebook logo on your fucking WordPress site. Did you seriously load 100kb of jQuery UI just so you could animate the fucking background color of a div?

You loaded all 7 fontfaces of a shitty webfont just so you could say “Hi.” at 100px height at the beginning of your site? You piece of shit.

It’s responsive

You dumbass. You thought you needed media queries to be responsive, but no. Responsive means that it responds to whatever motherfucking screensize it’s viewed on. This site doesn’t care if you’re on an iMac or a motherfucking Tamagotchi.

It fucking works

Look at this shit. You can read it … that is, if you can read, motherfucker. It makes sense. It has motherfucking hierarchy. It’s using HTML5 tags so you and your bitch-ass browser know what the fuck’s in this fucking site. That’s semantics, motherfucker.

It has content on the fucking screen. Your site has three bylines and link to your dribbble account, but you spread it over 7 full screens and make me click some bobbing button to show me how cool the jQuery ScrollTo plugin is.

Cross-browser compatibility? Load this motherfucker in IE6. I fucking dare you.

This is a website. Look at it. You’ve never seen one before.

Like the pansy-ass who’s never grown out his beard has no idea what his true natural state is, you have no fucking idea what a website is. All you have ever seen are shitty skeuomorphic bastardizations of what should be text communicating a fucking message. This is a real, naked website. Look at it. It’s fucking beautiful.

Yes, this is fucking satire, you fuck

I’m not actually saying your shitty site should look like this. What I’m saying is that all the problems we have with websites are ones we create ourselves.

Websites aren’t broken by default, they are functional, high-performing, and accessible. You break them. You son-of-a-bitch.

“Good design is as little design as possible.
– some German motherfucker

Note: I have no idea where I got this article or who wrote it

Be precise when talking formal Arabic: Serious distinctions

من طرائف اللغه العربية :

1 – لا تُسمّى الحديقة حديقةً إلا إن كان لها سور. فإن لم يكن لها سور فهي بستان.

2 – لا تُسمَّى المائدة مائدةً إلا إن كان عليها طعام . فإن لم يكن عليها طعام فهي خِوان .

3 – لا تُسمّى الكأس كأساً إلا إن كان فيها شراب . فإن لم يكن فيها شراب فهي قدح .

4 – القَُِطر بفتح القاف المطر . وبكسرها النحاس . وبضمها البلد أو الدائرة .

5 – تقول هو عاطل عن العمل . وهذا خطأ فالعاطل هي المرأة التي لا حُلِيَّ لها . و الصواب أن تقول هو رجل باهل!

6 – و تقول فلان عُرضة للأمراض. بمعنى أنه يصاب بها كثيراً . وهذا عكس المعنى الصحيح تماماً. فالذي هو عُرضة للأمراض هو من لايُصاب بها أبدا.

7- الوجيف و الرجيف : كلاهما بمعنى زيادة ضربات القلب إلا أن الوجيف بسبب الفرحة أما الرجيف بسبب الخوف

🍀 معلومـــات رائعــــــة🍀

ما الفرق بين السِّبط والحَفيد؟
السبط: هو ابن البنت، لذلك الحسن والحسين رضي الله عنهما سبطا رسول الله
أما الحفيد: فهو ابن الإبن.

{ إنَّ اللهَ لا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً }
ما الفرق بين المُخْتَال والفَخُور؟!
المختال : في هيئته
الفخور : في قوله

ما الفرق بين الغُدوة و الروحة و الدلجة؟!
الغدوة: أول النهار
الروحة: آخر النهار
الدّلجة: آخر الليل

ما الفرق بين المغفرة و الرحمة إذا اقترنتا ببعضهما؟!

المغفرة : لما مضى من الذنوب
الرحمة : السلامة من الذنوب في المستقبل

ما الفرق بين جَنازة بالفتح و جِنازة بالكسر؟

جَنازة: بالفتح اسم للميّت
جِنازة: بالكسر اسم للنعش الذي يُحمل عليه الميت

قال تعالى: {أحل لكم صيدُ البحر وطعامه}
فما المقصود بالصيد والطعام
قال ابن عباس :

صيده: ما أُخِذَ حياً، وطعامه: ما أُخِذَ مَيْتَاً

قال تعالى{ومَا يُكَذِّبُ بِهِ إلا كُلُّ مُعْتَدٍ أثِيم}
فما الفرق بين المعتدي والأثيم؟!
المعتدي : في أفعاله
الأثيم : في أقواله وفي كسبه

قال تعالى: {ويلٌ لِكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لمُزَةٍ}
فما هو الهمز واللمز؟
الهمز : بالفعل، كأن يعبس بوجهه
اللمز : باللسان .

ما الفرق بين “الصَّنم” و “الوثن”؟
الصنم : ما جُعل على صورة إنسان يُعبد من دون الله
الوثن : ما عُبِدَ من دون الله على أي وجه كان

فالوثن أعمّ من الصنم.

ما الفرق بين أعوذ و ألوذ؟!
العياذ: للفرار من الشر
اللياذ: لطلب الخير .
طابت اوقاتكم بذكر الرحمن🌹

Greffes: Extrinsic addition

Nous sommes une entité et tout ce qui nous est extérieur, extrinsèque, sera ” greffe ” pour nous .
Une greffe qui prend ou qui ne prend pas.

Parfois la greffe est si intense ( comme la mort par exemple ) qu’elle ” nous ” prend totalement.
Parfois elle est si extrinsèque qu’elle provoque en nous un rejet massif, et immédiat .

Un livre que nous lisons , et que nous aimons , et en parlons, somme toute adoptons: est une greffe qui a pris.
Une idée que nous rejetons , est une greffe échouée.

Une seule exception à cette règle : le spermatozoïde , cellule étrangère par excellence ne verra pas appliquées sur elle les lois du rejet.

La science n’en a pas encore découvert le pourquoi ni le comment. Tout se passe comme si la transgression des règles prohibée pour tous, était permise au poète de cet univers.

Murakami n’a-t-il pas écrit que “le monde était une métaphore ” ?…

La science de nos jours greffe tous les organes. Coeur, poumons, rein, intestin grêle , (on peut vivre sans colon ) , foie, pancréas, os, muscle, nerfs, vaisseaux, visage.

En ce sens , moi je dis que les morts de Gaza sont un gâchis pour israel qui compte dans sa population de colons ( les colons on n’en a pas besoin pour vivre ) plus de 4000 colons en attente de greffes d’organes de tout genre.

Je pense qu’à la prochaine guerre il y aura des enlèvements ciblés, de familles entières qu’on démontera et remontera en les dispersant dans d’autres corps.

Nous ne pourrons plus accuser israel de génocide ou de tueries car ces palestiniens gazzaoui’s vivront dans d’autres corps et il ne sera pas surprenant que douze israéliens réunis, le seront grâce à Un Gazzaoui éparpillé en eux . Ils seront le cimetière vivant de ce Gazzaoui. Un exploit !

On peut donc de nos jours greffer tous les organes… Sauf le cerveau.
Mais pour le cerveau il y a les médias : Le cerveau, on peut le laver.
N’y a -t-il pas ” eau ” dans cerveau ? …
( Jamil BERRY )


Notes and comments on FB and Twitter. Part 44

Les hommes, n’ayant pu guérire la mort, la misère et l’ignorance, ils se sont avisés, pour se render heureux de n’y point penser. Ca marche toujours pour tous les systems politiques

There is nothing there, after death. Try to avoid pains et strive to alleviate the pains of others: pains of thirst, famine, diseases, torture, collateral damages…

1217 letters later, late French president Francois Mitterrand to his secret love Anne Pingeot. They beget the “illegitimate” daughter Mazarine. From 1962 to 1995, the correspondences never stopped.

Have Russia and the 7 colonial powers decided on the next President to Syria? Is that the kind of “democratic system” to be instituted for the Syrian people in the foreseeable period?

Demanding to lift Marie Le Pen immunity in EU parliament, at this junction of the election, is tantamount to bring a tsunami of new voters for the Front National

Erdogan of Turkey is now Officially a Dictator: What changed? By a tiny small margin that the “No opposition” are contesting the results.  All Turkish TV stations never gave the opposition the luxury of exposing their opinions.

If I still can daydream of a performing Me it is that I suffer of no pains nor major aches

The US never attacks a State who can deliver on weapons of mass destruction. It attacked Iraq when it was sure Saddam had No deliverable nuclear bombs. It attacked Syria when made sure it has Not the means to deliver chemical weapons. If it attacks North Korea it means  North Korea has Not the means to deliver on its threat

We all knew that Erdogan referendum was meant to appoint himself Khalif: He paid a visit to all the shrines that Ottoman Sultans visited to pray when inaugurated

Un juif dans un train de samedi: ses pieds baignaient dans une cuvette d’eau. Sa religion lui defendait de se déplacer le samedi, sauf sur l’eau (True story from Louise Weiss, 1919)

Pourquoi je n’es pas d’enfant Rabbin? Retourner á la maison et exercisez vous á faire l’amour

If you want to comprehend current Europe, read “Memoires d’une Européenne” by Louise Weiss. Two volumes: period (1893-1919) and (1919-34)

Reporter Louise Weiss covered most European States and central Europe, the wars, the tribulations of peace treaties, the Society of Nations and the conditions and divisions of Europeans after the treaties

Le spectacle du ghetto de Varsovie en 1919: Levites et calottes, barbes et tortillons, nez ronds insuffisamment mooches, mauvaises habitations, grouillement de l’intelligence et la pauvreté. Le concert des apostrophes yiddisch (Louise Weiss)

US missile attack on Syria airfield was actually a message to Turkey: Desist from supplying chemical weapons to the Islamic extremists factions of Al Nusra and Daesh. The US is convinced that its engaged contingents in Syria and Iraq will be attacked chemically.

Soon after the missile attack on Syria airfield, the US bombed 3 chemical depots belonging to Al Nusra and Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

Only 13% of German/(Turks and Kurds) voted on the referendum: Claiming that they have Not been integrated is far fetched

If Macron becomes France President, consequences far worst than Le Pen: 1) he never served in an elected post, 2) lacks cultural complexity, 3) a stooge to the financial institutions, 4) will drive France deeper in debt (Hariri type of economic development), 5) follow Israel policies in Middle-East, 6) lacks comprehension of the intricate manoeuvring of  political parties

Two kinds of details: Details of the interested parties in a treaty, and details interpreted and applied by the professionals. The Devil in the details: Interest of initial parties change, but the practices and interpretations of the professionals don’t.

Within 8 years after the end of WWI, 125,000 Germans committed suicide. Though Germany didn’t have to fight within its land

Le problem de base est cerebral pour les unions des Etats: Il manque d’universités internationals pour s’ organiser

On ne concoit pas d’organization entre Etats, meme transformés, sans justice et sécurité. La sécurité mine l’ EU et la justice entre les etats est trop complex que le citoyen la comprend comme injustice, especiallement des petits états qui n’ont pas les facilities financieres et professionelles necessaire pour contester

Pouquoi désarmer? Quant et comment désarmer? 3 committés d’études se sont organises a Paris au Trocadero (1933) lors du Congré International. Il y avait 1098 délégués representant 395 associations. Nothing was resolved until now.

Since all your predictions turned false, your latest of a calamity generated by France election induces me to sleep serenely

Confounding multilingual with double talks? Lebanon status


La crise économique au Liban, est aggravée par le manque de vision, de projet, et de perspective.
Pourquoi ?
Parçe que notre classe politique ( tous des redoublants ou plus ) ne commande plus sur rien et ne répond plus de rien.
Pourquoi ?

Parce qu’avec les gigantesques gisements de gaz et de pétrole , on nous prendra les commandes des mains , et ce ne leur sera pas difficile car nous ne les avions de toute façon pas bien en mains.
Ah bon ! Pourquoi ?

Parce que nous avons ajouté à l’étroitesse de la surface du Liban, l’étroitesse de nos esprits et nous nous sommes montrés généreux et imaginatifs dans le refus de l’autre.
Comment ça ?

Nous avons confondu multilingue et double langage .
Nous nous fermons à l’autre que nous regardons avec méfiance, juste à travers une ( ou plusieurs ) meurtrières.

Je ne conteste pas certaines raisons basiques et légitimes à cette méfiance , mais nous ” zoomons ” à mort ( ta ye5lass zoomo ) devant l’inconnu non étranger.

Nous le considérons à petit,moyen,et fort grossissement .
J’ai une suggestion : et si on le regardait à l’oeil nu . Ça sera plus authentique non ? Et plus sexy …
( Jamil BERRY )




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