Lucy Kellaway is a columnist for the Financial Times and the workplace commentator for BBC Radio’s daily Business Brief, where she serially kvetches about poor business jargon and why you should never use it.
Tonight I caught her hilarious take on our latest “lethal” and “horrid phrase:”
With DEMO 2008 on this week, we’ve had several posts on the virtues of public speaking, how to improve your company presentations, and what to say (or not) to would-be investors. So, I thought you ought to consider to Lucy’s take on why “going forward…” is a phrase that will only set you back.
The first trouble with the phrase is that it’s almost always redundant. The sentence means exactly the same thing without it. If, on occasion, there is a need to spell out the idea of the future, we have some perfectly good words already. For pompous people there is “henceforth,” and for the rest of us there’s “in the future.” The second trouble is that “going forward” seems to gesture confidently toward the future but is utterly vague on timing…