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The Airing of Grievances: Weasel Speak

You know, the language of business. That secret code that MBAs come up with so it looks like they know what they’re talking about and have marketable skills? Still not getting it? Ok, some samples with Uncle’s translation:

Core competency – Shit to do
Leveraging resources – Borrow money
Value-added – Management likes this idea
Catalysist for change – Someone’s getting fired
Shifting paradigms – Either management likes this idea or someone important is getting fired

Those. I hate them. Yet, every office has someone who always uses them. I wish they’d knock that shit off. Every time I hear those phrases, I want to leverage someone’s jaw.

12 Responses to “The Airing of Grievances: Weasel Speak”

  1. Lesley Says:

    It’s the Ivy League MBAs that came up with those. I think they did it just to see if a bunch of other middling managers would use the terms. We have to use them, though. It’s a condition of receiving our degree.

    I had a boss that liked the word “bucket.” In place of “category.” He wanted me to “bucketize” things. I wanted to bucketize his head.

  2. Rustmeister Says:

    I gave up when “benchmarks” were changed to “metrics”.

  3. #9 Says:

    Have you done your due diligence here? I don’t see anything about ownership or stake holders. How compelling is this if the human aspect is not fully addressed? The great concern is synergy. What will HR say?

    You have to speak the language. The real fun is when two people with MBAs try to out MBA each other. I love the meetings from hell when they try to impress everyone that they and they alone see the golden path. Don’t get me started about the whiteboard MBA. You know the one, why say something that can be draw out on the whiteboard in five times the amount of time in unrecognizable hand writing?

  4. SayUncle Says:

    The real fun is when two people with MBAs try to out MBA each other. I love the meetings from hell when they try to impress everyone that they and they alone see the golden path.

    At that point, I usually excuse myself and tell them I’m off to leverage some lunch.

  5. beerslurpy Says:

    Core competancy isnt a made up word or a euphamism. It is a major reason why companies fail.

    For example, surefire manufacturing firearm silencers. Their core competancy is manufacturing flashlights, not silencers. Although they are both tube shaped objects, different expertise is required to design one vs the other. As a result, they are several million in the hole and have an overpriced and underperforming line of suppressors. They aren’t going out of business, but they did lose money on the project.

  6. Sigivald Says:

    No, no. “Core competency” is the thing you’re good at.

    The problem comes when that isn’t the shit to do, like beerslurpy said.

    (Me, I like to leverage core competencies while I’m at work, by doing the things I’m good at.)

  7. USCitizen Says:

    (Hey – I’m visitor 1234 x 1000 ! )

    Yannow, sometimes you find weasel-speak is overused (like when you can define it). When this happens, it’s good to reach for the trusty Buzz-word-O-matic. (Excel file certified non-damaging macros).


  8. Traction Control » Blog Archive » Weasel-speak Says:

    […] More Airing of Grievances at Say Uncle:  Weasel-speak! […]

  9. SayUncle Says:

    he, that’s funny. here’s the web version.

  10. Rustmeister Says:


    I needed to monetize value-added content anyway!

  11. USCitizen Says:


    The web version you linked was the inspiration for the Buzz-Word-o-Matic, a personal, portable, man carry-able edition that you can enter your own words for your own phrases. (Without publishing them to the universe in advance of deployment).

    You found that link in just 0.002 nanoseconds!


  12. FreedomSight » Blog Archive » Get Your Festivus Pole Says:

    […] For those who don’t about this holiday, check Wikipedia for Festivus, and to get a feel for how the celebration works, checkout some airing of grievances. […]