Corporate jargon

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Corporate jargon, variously known as corporate speak, corporate lingo, business speak, business jargon, management speak, workplace jargon, or commercialese, is the jargon often used in large corporations, bureaucracies, and similar workplaces.[1][2]

The tone is associated with managers of large corporations, business management consultants, and occasionally government. Reference to such jargon is typically derogatory, implying the use of long, complicated, or obscure words, abbreviations, euphemisms, and acronyms. For that reason some of its forms may be considered as an argot.[2] Some of these words may be actually new inventions, designed purely to fit the specialized meaning of a situation or even to "spin" negative situations as positive situations.[citation needed]

Marketing speak is a related label for wording styles used to promote a product or service to a wide audience by seeking to create the impression that the vendors of the service possess a high level of sophistication, skill, and technical knowledge. Such language is often used in marketing press releases, advertising copy, and prepared statements read by executives and politicians.[citation needed]


Many terms have straightforward meanings in other contexts (e.g., leverage in physics, picked up with a well-defined meaning in finance), but are used more loosely in business speak. For example, deliverable is used to refer to anything that has to be done by a certain date to be verified by another party.[citation needed]

The phrases going forward or moving forward make a confident gesture towards the future, but are generally vague on timing, which usually means it can be removed from a sentence with little or no effect on its overall meaning.[citation needed]

"Open the kimono" is used in business speak to mean sharing information with an outside party.[3]

Legal terms such as "Chapter 11" can be used without explaining what they are about, e.g. Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code is about US bankruptcy.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bryan A. Garner (28 July 2009). "Commercialese". Garner's Modern American Usage (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 168–69. ISBN 978-0-19-987462-0. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "corporate argot" in The Jargon Jumble: Kids Have 'Skeds,' Colleagues, 'Needs', Wall Street Journal, 24 October 2006
  3. ^ "Buzzword of the Week: Open Kimono". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bryan Garner. Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195384208. , regarded as an authoritative guide to legal language, and aimed at the practicing lawyer.
  • Maria Fraddosio, New ELS: English for Law Students (Naples, Edizioni Giuridiche Simone, 2008) is a course book for Italian University Students.
  • BBCi (2006) "Workplace jargon isolates staff" [1]
  • IVP (2006) Press release: Investors in People 15th Anniversary IVP
  • Reef Business Information (2006) "Managers unable to communicate with staff," Personnel Today

External links[edit]