20 Common Business Terms Explained for Non-Native English Speakers, PART 1

English is hard enough if it’s not your first language … and its business jargon is even harder. In this series we look at some of the most commonly used terms and what they really mean … in plain English.

(For direct links to the other articles in this series, scroll down to the bottom of this article.)


Want to write better for business in English? Here’s how

Analytics: a relatively new word for statistics. Usually refers to the statistics you get from systems that measure things like your website traffic, sales, clicks, etc [Read more…]

10 popular business buzzwords we love to hate

We all say we love to hate business buzzwords, clichés and jargon, but do we actually know why  we love to hate them?

10 popular business buzzwords we love to hate After all, words and phrases only become clichés because they are used a lot. Ostensibly, they fill a need to express a common thought we are all sharing at around the same time, so they actually they are useful.

However after a while some of them become toxic. And here are some thoughts about why that should be, in no particular order. For example… [Read more…]

Poetry in (pro)motion – Business Speak immortalised in verse

Here in leafy Milton Keynes, England, we not only have our own Poet Laureate, but also another hugely popular performance poet by the name of Steve Crawford. Steve makes my idea of multi-tasking look like a quiet nap in the sunshine…

To quote his Amazon page he has been a … ” Photographer, Door-to-Door Vacuum Cleaner Salesman, Retail Manager, Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, Shop Owner, IT Consultant, TV Director, Song Writer, Project Manager, Games Designer, Lead Creative Designer, Wedding Videographer, Project Leader, TV Cameraman, Film Director, Producer, Writer, Musician, Antique Dealer, Craftsman, Businessman… and now Poet.”

Poetry in (pro)motion - Business Speak immortalised in versePoetry

Steve Crawford, performance poet and multi-careerist extraordinaire

What all those amazing activities have done for Steve, apart from earning him a varied and colourful living, is to give him insight into a vast range of business and social environments which have provided him with inspiration for insightful, shrewd, clever and often very funny poems which he performs around the UK at arts festivals and other creative events.

Here is one of them, on the ridiculousness of business jargon … Business Speak, or lovingly nicknamed “BS.” Of course.  [Read more…]

Do you speak Touchy-Feely?

Business jargon fascinates me because it reflects the mood – or perhaps what should be the mood – of our current financial and economic circumstances.

business jargon changes on HTWV

Touchy-feely business jargon: how’s yours?

Think back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were striding forth with ballsy (excessively ballsy?) economic policies which bred such classic, hard-assed terms as…

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) – did what it said on the label. No bullshit: if your business wasn’t doing well, its processes needed to be re-engineered. End of.

Committed – I wish I had a dollar or a pound for every client who said to me back in the 1980s and 1990s, when I asked what made them better than their competitors, “ah, but Suze – we’re committed…” At least its business use vaguely corresponded with its original meaning, though.

Getting down to the short strokes – no prizes for guessing the sexual connotations but meaning, essentially, getting down to business [Read more…]