Steven Poole - who touched base in my thought shower - a treasury of unbearable office jargon - book cover

When my fellow editor Roy briefed me about this new category of posts I think he worded it along the lines of something like “if you have nothing to write about”. Well, I happen to like serendipitous finds on the shelves. I guess I’m partly old-school when it comes to looking for reading material, especially for fiction – I trawl the shelves and let the books speak to me. Of course, I judge books by their covers. In any case, this is my surprise find today in a copy of Who Touched Base In My Thought Shower? that I spotted on the New Arrivals shelf

 “Stakeholders are people in the company who are affected by a certain project; also, sometimes, business partners and customers. This term, plump with cheaply bought respect, seems to have infected corporate-speak from its ubiquity in New Labour politics, where stakeholders were not wooden-spike-wielding vampire hunters but people with an interest (usually financial) in some issue.” p.175

This book is a listing of CorporateSpeak, defining and commenting on terms such as low-hanging fruits (and comparing that to certain parts of the male anatomy), solutioning, using workshop as a verb, revert and take this offline, among other hilarity. So do check out this book for a good laugh, and it doesn’t hurt that this is one of the Sunday Times book of the Year. Warning: those in a non-corporate environment might be entirely lost reading this.