Rolling the RRRs of English business jargon and slang…

Do you rock when you rise and shine, or does someone have to reach out and railroad you? More of our ridiculous language’s jargon and slang, for business and beyond.

Jargon and slang used for business in English

Do you Rock when you Rock a fashionable outfit?

Railroad: to force, or at least to press, a project or process through to rapid completion, often without proper concern for people and places that might be adversely affected by it. The term is thought to originate from the days in the 19th century when railroads (railways) were being built at speed in many countries.

Raincheck: a postponement due to unforeseen circumstances. This word – sometimes shown as two words – comes from the USA and was used when a baseball game had to be called off due to bad weather… [Read more…]

Metaphors, slang and jargon: why translators turn to drink

Metaphors, slang and jargon have a lot to answer for – in any language. Nothing is worse for a translator of business text, in particular, than text that’s heaving with them.

Nearly all languages have numerous metaphors, slang and jargon that, if translated literally, make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Predictably, English is probably the worst.

Metaphors, slang and jargon: why translators turn to drink

New GM model that wasn’t going anywhere – not in Spanish, anyway.

We’ve all heard the story about General Motors Europe who launched a small hatchback model some years ago called the Nova[Read more…]

Doctors’ jargon to watch for on your medical notes…

Updated January 25th, 2020. Doctors’ abbreviations, acronyms and slang terms actually used on patients’ notes have been on the way out for some years now, if we are to believe this article from the BBC’s News Online, way back in August 2003.

Would they have said you were ‘Paws Up,’ or just PBS?

And not because of high technology or computerized patient records – especially in the UK where most hospital notes are still done on paper because the various IT systems within our noble National Health Service can’t talk to each other despite many millions being wasted on trying. 

No, it’s because most of them were extremely rude (and funny.) [Read more…]

Daily Wail: FFS get horse jargon right (and dump the ancient clichés)

Daily Mail,horses,jargon,writing,cliches

Suze with a mighty, trusted steed sporting white stripes all over the place,
white ankles to match, cool black leather boots and subtle hair extensions
to enhance its glossy mane.
ZZZzzzzz. (Suze is on the left.)

Being a horsey type I often cringe at the “popular” media’s ideas on how to describe, er, an actress who rides a horse over a few fences. In this particular case, though, the UK’s Daily Mail really does take first prize for the most asinine and ridiculous use of what its writers think is the way to talk about horses.

Needless to say this is not the first time I have ranted on here about the most stupid ways in which journalists mislead and belittle those of us in the horsey world who get increasingly fed up with the old-fashioned clichés used to describe a sports culture which is huge in many countries.

And we’re not talking horse racing or snotty fox hunters here. We’re talking genuine competitive sports – much more intricate and demanding sports – that work for people from right across the socio-economic spectrum.

The vast majority of horse owners in western countries are not rich or privileged. They are working people who often need to sustain two or more jobs just to pay for their beloved horses’ keep, so they can enjoy the camaraderie and opportunities to compete and test their achievements that are out there, now, for everyone to enjoy.

So when we get patronizing, ignorant drivel being published by a so-called “popular” newspaper such as the UK’s Daily Mail that attempts to belittle what the the 3 million or so private horse owners in the UK are doing (plus their equivalents in the US and many other countries) … well, it makes me angry.

To illustrate my points…

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Are you stuck in your jargon zone?


Do you realize your jargon can put your business blog readers right off what you’re trying to communicate?

No matter how much we business writers insist that using too much jargon is a train wreck waiting to happen, it amazes me and many of my writing cohorts that people in many professions are so brainwashed by their jargon they simply cannot let it go and write as normal human beings. Even when their readers are normal human beings. [Read more…]

Why we need to give thanks to the USA

Thanksgiving,USA,America,Britain,humor,laughsUPDATED NOVEMBER 2020 … and this was written in gloriously pre-Trump days … On the day when families gather all over the USA to give thanks, it’s only fitting that we here in the UK should think about the things for which we owe gratitude to our American friends. Here are some of my suggestions. Even if you’re American – tell us what we really should be grateful for. (And can we forget the Boston Tea Party once and for all please?)

[Read more…]