Thoughts, topics of interest, points of view, stories and poetry. Some posts also feature my own photographs - here, as well as on the 'valleyguardians' blog. While I don't mind my material being used, I would ask the courtesy of acknowledgement by name or link. A thank you would then follow.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Business Speak; making an effort how not to

Oh boy! Don’t you just hate it when you finally get through to the right department in a company, only to be talked to in ‘code’. It kind of sounds like English BUT the person who answers the phone insists on treating you as if you have the same knowledge they do, throwing in all sorts of industry acronyms and colloquialisms.
For starters, it’s nice to have an impression that the agent knows their stuff, yet their habit of ‘talking at’ customers, in abbreviations and acronyms is a bit much. How do they know your level of English, never mind your exposure to ‘business speak’?

I thought we lived in a land of ‘many tongues’?

Let's Face it! and then Fix it!

For starters, you could watch your language…record yourself on your smartphone recorder, make some notes of where and when you use which of the ‘speaking terms’ that you’d use when helping a member of the public, (a customer, a potential lead). And then, ask a stranger, a friend, and a family member, (at least these three) to point out the business speak that has crept into your communication when you’re talking to them.
Also, don’t forget to explain the meaning of the terms. Pay your knowledge and information forward and encourage others to do the same.

If, though, you’re as curious about the penning of words as I am, you’d also subscribe to Grammarly (suggests corrections, alternatives, explanations), register to receive daily titbits sent by sites such as, spend time once a week looking up words in the urban dictionary, and read and write – every day. Read anything and everything and look up the meaning of those words you don’t understand.
Live and learn, in every way. The more theory you have, the easier it is to actually action some of the things you read about and if you’re discovering the meaning of some 'business speak' terminology, don’t just bandy it about. Or, at least explain yourself when you do.

Personally, I’ve subscribed to the forklift news – always wanted to learn to drive one…or a bulldozer – actually, in all honesty, I have to admit that it's only since I watched and got hooked on Transformers. But, I also follow developments in the service delivery industry (all sectors, or as many as I can think of), keep an eye on ‘movement in the spiritual world’ (wicca, shamanistic teachings etc.), and ‘got to be in the know’ about the latest sun flares, channeling, and alien talk...then there's fractal banking, developments in computer wearables, mountain-biking and climbing, 3D list is kind of endless.

Thing is, you never know what titbit of information that you’ve read could be of help when communicating with others – in your work, play or in random conversations. The latter should happen in the queue at your local store, Post Office, bank, paying fines or picking up a 'renewal of licence' form(s?), and if none of the above apply, try the lift/escalator and learn to talk again (in short bursts – kind of like Twitter).
Unfortunately, there are way too many of us ‘talkers’ only doing the talking online, and unlearning how to deal with face-to-face conversations in the process of ‘hermitising’ – are we learning ‘webspeak’ (?).
Had a picture of me spending a Saturday morning in the streets, store – everywhere – just like in the TV advertisement(s), sticking post-it notes, (with messages such as ‘Talk to me’, and ‘Let’s have a REAL conversation’ written on them), smack on people's foreheads (people whose conversations I eavesdrop on, or interrupt with my own opinion). Ok, so if you know me, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t done it yet? Soon…


  1. The photograph of sunrise over the sea was taken from behind the Elangeni Hotel on Durban's North Beach - 16 floors up - using my Samsung Galaxy yPro, with a stitch/landscape setting.

  2. Hi Helen ,

    Loved the write up & the pics .Your writing is so fluid . Amazing!!

    My blog website has completed 3 months . I want you to be a part of this celebration . Hence I have nominated you for Sweet sharing’s Wordsmith award. I hope you will acknowledge it & be a part of my blog forever :)

  3. Hi Helen,

    Thanks for acknowledging the Wordsmith Award. I am truly humbled & grateful for your kind words & praises that you have showered onto me. May we continue to inspire each other in the same way . You are a natural writer & believe me if I am saying this . I really like the way you put your thoughts into words. It is so pure & unadulterated :). I wish I will be able to learn a thing or two from you . Thanks again for being so gracious :)
    Wish you & yours a very happy New year :)