I’m Kevin Duncan, author and Plain English commentator, and I’ve been collecting corporate gobbledygook for over 30 years. My first dictionary brought it all together in one place for the first time, with over 2,000 entries and explanations. The fully updated version, The Business Bullshit Book, is out on November 10 2016.
Across the piste: 1. Everywhere. 2. Disastrous confusion between piece and piste, inadvertently leading to saying the opposite of what was intended; a piste is a restricted strip of land, and so by definition narrow, whereas the idea here was to suggest a wide expanse.
Manspread: 1. Sometimes called man-sitting, this is the practice of sitting with legs wide apart, often covering more than one seat. 2. Macho and vainglorious, manspreading is frequently observed in meetings when sweaty, overweight misogynists intentionally sport their genitals in various forms to anyone unfortunate to catch a glimpse. (see Dog’s bollocks)
A double dose of nonsense from our friends in the US….
Double click on that issue (vb.). 1. Concentrate, redouble efforts (assumed, true meaning unclear). 2. “We have to double click on that issue Jane!”; desperate cry of a bewildered executive suddenly realising that they have failed to get something done, and then passing the buck to someone else. (see Buck, pass the; Double down)
Double down. 1. To double one’s wager. 2. Go full throttle; chuck in the kitchen sink; overcompensate; overdo it; flagrantly gamble with all resources, regardless of consequences. (see Double click on that issue; Full-tilt boogie)
Reach out: 1. To contact in some way. 2. Truly horrible way of suggesting any form of interaction with a colleague or associate, offered in an “arms around the world” sort of tone; visions of two fingers only just touching, a la the Sistine chapel, or a film villain about to drop off a cliff despite vain attempts to hold them back.
Onboarding: 1. Getting someone on board. 2. Nasty expression for explaining to a new recruit what on earth their job involves, by which time it is usually too late to decline.