Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Words and phrases don't necessarily explode into our language.
Some creep in like accountants sneaking into brothels and seat themselves in the corners of our brains from which our mouths choose what to say.
No one knows how they got there. They're just there, crawling all over.
I confess that a few, very modern (they seem modern to me, at least) phrases have begun to make me involuntarily slap my cheekbones in public places.
I present them, therefore, in the hope that I am not alone.
1. I own it.
I own a car. This is a good thing. I can sell it. I can give people rides in it. I can even use it as collateral in case I want to get a loan to buy something at Prada. What has this got to do with having made a right royal mess of something? This phrase has somehow come to mean: "I did something wrong. I am taking responsibility." Why does it always seem to me to mean: "Yes, yes. You want me to say something contrite. I'll say I own my mistake, which gives me the perfect freedom to not have to do anything more about it." I could be wrong, of course. Or I could be Rahm.
2. I'm humbled.
Sometimes known as "I'm truly humbled." This phrase surely, surely means: "I am thrilled to death, my ego is swelling like my stomach after I eat the whole Wendy's menu, but I know I'm not supposed to gloat, so this is the PC thing to say, right? Well, that's what my PR people tell me."
3. You're being insensitive.
I worry about the word "insensitive" almost as much as I worry about the word "sensitive." People who say they're sensitive often mean they're sensitive only about themselves. So many people are accused these days of saying things that are "insensitive." Why can't these critics just say that what's been uttered is "offensive," 'ignorant," or "thoroughly, irredeemably stupid"? To assign the notion of insensitivity is often to give far too much credit to the arrant fool. They're not being insensitive; they're being their dunderheaded selves.
4. No offense, but...
Perhaps this one's no so modern. I just can't imagine, say, Julius Caesar using it. Or Winston Churchill. They'd just go right ahead and offend you. "No offense, but" is the beginning of a sentence which comprises this thought: "I think what you've just said is so thoroughly ignorant that I would dearly love to headbutt you, but I don't want to appear insensitive."
5. I feel you.
I know, I just know that this must have come out of the sensitive, touchy-feely '60s. Suddenly people were feeling each other because feeling was cool. Please forgive me, but I've never quite come to terms with this. Every time someone says it, it makes me think they're desperately trying to get admitted to some spiritual retreat, but the retreat knows something about their past, so they're practicing their sensitivity. This is a subjective column -- I did mention that, didn't I?
6. Needless to say.
I know, I know. I really didn't need to put this one here, did I? Everyone dislikes it. No one feels it at all. But it dutifully trots out every day as if it adds some peculiar emphasis on the cliché or other obvious statement you're about to utter.
7. You guys R the best tweeps ever.
Please don't say you've never seen this. I know you're on Twitter and you can't avoid it. Who was it that invented this "tweep" word? It's used most often by celebrities who look upon their assembled masses and thinks of them as little tweeps. It's twerpish.
I'm finding this one has gone beyond annoying and exasperating and is hurtling toward life-threatening. Peruse your way around the web and you'll learn that, say, Apple "shared" a new ad today. I fear Apple didn't. Apple released a new ad, launched a new ad, peddled a new ad, tossed a new ad out there in the hope it makes the company more money. I fear that this sharing thing has crept into far too many inappropriate places. Minds, for example.
9. Growth hacking.
May I share? I have no idea what this means. None. Does it mean chopping at growth? Perhaps it means chopping at a growth. This word "hacking" has slithered into so many different areas. Hackers are generally disruptive -- in the original meaning of the word. They tend to cause problems. So is growth hacking a good thing or a bad thing? Or is it just a thing that sounds like, well, something?
10. Can I help who's next?
Do you really want me to explain?