Attack of the abstract business speak

Last week our apprentices, Maddie and Meg, blogged about the business speak coming out of The Apprentice. And because it went down a storm, they've done it again.

Pineapple chutney. Not so sterling.

So, the task this week was to invent a condiment. And newly reformed team Sterling (headed up by Duane) decided to make chutney.

Nick, never one to shy away from a good pun, quipped ‘Chutney – if they get it wrong, they could be in a pickle.’ And Nick was right.

They turned up to the tasting session without a sample. And all they could do was ‘sincerely apologise’. There’s nothing sincere about those cold formalities, if you ask me.

When it came to thinking up a name, potential One Direction member Nicholas suggested Infusion – but with a capital F. Only slightly better than the others, Charlie Chutney and Spicy Nicey.

And Jade set high expectations for Sterling’s condiment. Pitching their pineapple concoction as ‘rustic, but revolutionary’. Nice use of alliteration, but a shame she didn’t know what she meant. Another case of abstract business speak taking over.

You didn’t rise from the ashes, then?

So this week, Katie was project manager of Phoenix and decided to come up with her own collective noun as she husked about ‘manipulating a pack of men’. Phoenix made Mediterranean ketchup for their condiment in last night’s episode. And things very quickly took a turn for the worse as we listened to ‘wastage’ shrieked by Ricky, until it lost all meaning. You know what the real ‘wastage’ there is? The energy used on that extra syllable. You could just say waste.

Next came Stephen’s sales shpiel – ‘Put your hands in the air when you feel that chilli’ – turning him into less of a businessman and more of a wedding DJ.

And then there was the product name. ‘Belissimo’. Katie said they should ‘probably check that word’. They should’ve. Because dictionaries don’t just have the right spelling, they also have the right definition: ‘very beautiful’. An unusual description for spicy ketchup.

This week, points go to Lord Sugar, whose figurative language brightened the otherwise beige boardroom: ‘the best rescue since Dunkirk’, ‘running the production like you’re Henry Ford’ and ‘queen bee and the workers’ (potential band name?). These little treats lifted the mood, unlike Phoenix’s boring business-speak. They thoroughly ‘under-delivered’.

0 min read, posted in Culture, by Admin, on 5 Apr 2012