Too many clichés

2007

Are executives running out of stupid phrases to throw around the office? The Corporate Cynic says that he is starting to notice that the managers trot out the same old clichés over and over again – something that reminds him of an episode of The Flintstones in which Fred Flintstones is told by his boss to repeat three phrases as an answer to any questions he is asked.

In Fred's case, this amounted to:

  • Whose baby is that?
  • Let's run it up the flagpole.
  • I'll buy that!

Meanwhile, the Cynics overheard a manager completely dressing-down another manager who happened to be at a lower level. While not hearing every word, he did notice there were certain phrases used that he had heard rather a lot recently.

  • I don't think you have your arms around this business
  • Results are what I pay you for
  • You've taken your eyes of the ball
  • You just don't seem to get it

    How sad that life is imitating art. Sadder still that those in senior positions can't adopt the sort of constructive dialogue the Cynic suggests by adding phrases like these into their vocabulary:

  • We seem to have a problem here. What can we do to prevent it in the future?
  • Let's figure out how this happened. Perhaps collectively, we can come up with a permanent solution.
  • Please make sure to let me know if you need my support in this.
  • We must do something to stop this in future. Any thoughts?

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    Older Comments

    Actually, Fred's 3 default catch phrases were: 'Whose baby is that?' 'What's your angle' and 'I'll buy that', but I saw the flagpole example used elsewhere online as a reference to Fred's sales mantra and it seems to be perpetuated by etext infringers along the way... If one plans to criticise the world's lack of creativity and ingenuity in creating sellable catch phrases, wouldn't it be wise to follow your own advise and not use as an illustration of your point, someone else's example 'cut and pasted' from elsewhere in cyberspace? Just a thought...

    L E Kenney