National No Bullshit Day
You’ve probably already seen the buzz online about the day of straight-talking and directness planned for next year.
A UK-based charity, The Campaign for Real Language (CARL) is helping businesses express ideas using words that won’t bewilder, bore, confuse or infuriate people – inside or outside of the organisation.
CARL has so far signed up 1.2 million UK companies to take part in the one-day event. Participating organisations are being asked to punish their employees (physically, psychologically and financially) for parroting a word or phrase they’ve seen somewhere or heard someone else say in the last few meetings they’ve been to.
As part of its initial PR drive for the event, CARL has released a guideline featuring some of the language that’s being banned for National No Bullshit Day. Here is an exclusive extract:
Inside the company
‘Stakeholders’ – as in ‘People who have an opinion on this’
‘Key stakeholders’ – as in ‘More people who have an opinion on this’.
‘Consumers’ – as in ‘People’
‘Segment’ – as in ‘People we’ve put in categories’.
‘Action’ – as in ‘Do’
‘Deliver’ as in ‘Do’
‘Deliverables’ – as in ‘Things we’re going to do’
‘Roadmap’ – as in ‘Not a roadmap at all. As in ‘plan’.
‘Engage’ – as in ‘Talk to’ or ‘Listen to’
‘Engaging’ – as in ‘Not tedious’
‘Can we take this offline?’ – as in ‘Not now please – it’s a bit awkward to talk about it in this meeting.’
‘Committed to’ – as in ‘We’re committed to this but we’re never going to actually do something about it because it’s too much hassle.’
‘Going forward’ – as in ‘The governments of all English-speaking nations must make the use of this phrase illegal now. Right now.’
Outside the company
‘Artisan’ – as in ‘Someone actually made this using their brain and their hands and some ingredients or components – you know the way things can be um… made.’
‘Passionate’ – as in ‘We’re committed to bread. We’re really passionate about it too because we’re trying to sell you some at a higher price than the one you were hoping for. That’s why we called it ‘artisan bread.’
‘We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause’ – as in ‘Sorry’ or ‘Sorry about that’.
‘Instore’ – as in ‘In a shop’ or ‘Into one of our shops’.
‘Customer service representative’ – as in ‘Us’.
‘We are currently experiencing high call volumes and you are held in a queue’ – as in ‘We wish people wouldn’t keep calling us but they just keep on doing it. Day in day out. The trouble is we haven’t got a clue what to do about it. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Would you like some artisan bread? Just speak to a customer service representative instore today.’
‘Unexpected item in the bagging area’ – as in ‘No one ever thought about what a hideous experience it would be to hear this phrase repeating incessantly and asynchronously whilst you were trying to buy some carrots and loo roll but we’ve just left it that way anyway. We’re passionate about your service experience instore today and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
‘Inbranch’ – as in ‘This is a word that actual people don’t actually ever say in actuality. It’s a fairly ugly word too but we’ve forced it on you now so you’ll just have to live with it. If you don’t like it, why not visit us inbranch? We’re passionate about listening to your feedback. Would you like an artisan cheesecake while you’re waiting to speak to a customer service representative?’
Unexpected item in the bagging area.
Did you bring your own bags?
Unexpected baggy bags in the bagging area unexpectedly. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.