In January I wrote about the Business Sentence Generator, which spits out random sentences for use in corporate reports. Whilst the BSG was built for humour, a survey shows that it may not be far off the mark.

Office Angels compiled a list of office jargon from the last decade, and their top ten reads as follows:

‘We need the right pin numbers’ – ‘we need it to work’
‘A lighthouse on a cloudy night’ – coming up with a good/bright idea
‘I’m coming into this with an open kimono’ – throwing an idea out into the open but being open to criticism
‘Let’s touch base about this offline’ – ‘let’s meet up face-to-face’
‘Finger in the air figure’ – just an estimate
‘I think someone needs a bite of the realilty sandwich’ – someone needs to think a bit more practically
‘Let’s run that idea up the flagpole and see if it flies’ – simply trying out an idea
‘Let’s not try to build a chestnut fence to keep the sand-dunes in’ – face a problem head-on, rather than battling it unsuccessfully
‘Get all our ducks in a row’ – get everything in order
‘Expecting the moon on a stick’ – when clients have ridiculous expectations

These sentences seem fairly redundant – why not just say what you mean? Sporting metaphors seem increasingly common – one reason why I hate ‘touching base’. Let’s hope with the new decade we can ditch the jargon and communicate clearly with our coworkers – now that’s a lighthouse on a cloudy night!