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为什么管理者们总爱使用行业黑话(上)

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Business

商业

Jargon abhors a vacuum.

行话厌恶空白。

The reasons behind management gobbledygook.

难懂的管理术语背后的原因。

No child aspires to a life talking the kind of nonsense that many executives speak. But it seems that, as soon as managers start to climb the corporate ladder, they begin to lose the ability to talk or write clearly. They instead become entangled in a forest of gobbledygook.

没有哪个孩子希望过着像许多高管那样胡说八道的生活。但似乎一旦经理们开始沿着公司的阶梯向上爬,888真人代理开户:他们就开始失去清晰地说话或写作的能力。相反,他们陷入了官样文章的森林中。

The first explanation for this phenomenon is that “jargon abhors a vacuum”. All too often, executives know they have nothing significant to say in a speech or a memo. They could confine their remarks to something like “profits are up (or down)”, which would be relevant information. But executives would rather make some grand statement about team spirit or the corporate ethos. They aim to make the business sound more inspirational than “selling more stuff at less cost”. So they use long words, obscure jargon, and buzzwords like “holistic” to fill the space.

对这一现象的第一个解释是“行话厌恶空白”。很多时候,高管们都知道,他们在演讲或简报中没有什么重要的东西可说。他们可以将自己的言论限制在“利润上升(或下降)”这样的话上,这是些相关的信息。但高管们更愿意就团队精神或企业精神发表一些宏大的声明。他们的目标是让这项业务听起来比“以更低的成本销售更多的东西”更有启发性。所以他们用长词、晦涩难懂的行话和像“整体”这样的流行语来填补空白。

Another reason why managers indulge in waffle relates to the nature of the modern economy. In the past, work was largely about producing, or selling, physical things such as bricks or electrical gadgets. A service-based economy involves tasks that are difficult to define. When it is hard to describe what you do, it is natural to resort to imprecise terms.

经理们沉迷于胡扯的另一个原因与现代经济的本质有关。在过去,工作主要是生产或销售实物,比如砖头或电器配件。服务型经济涉及的任务很难定义。当很难描述你所做的事情时,很自然地就会使用不精确的术语。

Such terms can have a purpose but still be irritating. Take “onboarding”. A single word to describe the process of a company assimilating a new employee could be useful. But “to board” would do the trick (at least in American English, which is more comfortable than British English with “a plane boarding passengers” and not just “passengers boarding a plane”). The only purpose of adding “on” seems to be to allow the creation of an equally ugly word, “offboarding”, the process of leaving a firm.

这些术语可能有其目的,但仍然令人恼火。以“onboarding”为例。用一个词来描述公司吸纳新员工的过程可能是有用的。但是用“to board”就可以了(至少在美式英语中是这样的,美式英语中的“a plane boarding passengers”比英式英语中的“passengers boarding a plane”要舒服得多)。添加“on”的唯一目的似乎是创造另一个同样令人厌恶的词“offboarding”,也就是离开公司的过程。

Overblown language is also used when the actual business is prosaic. Private Eye, a British satirical magazine that often mocks corporate flimflam, used to have a regular column pointing out the absurd tendency of companies to tag the word “solutions” onto a product; carpets became “floor-covering solutions”. (Bartleby has long wanted to start a business devoted to dissolving items in water so it could be called “Solution Solutions”.) Nowadays, the target for mockery is the use of the term DNA, as in “perfect customer service is in our DNA”.

当实际业务平淡无奇时,人们也会使用夸张的语言。英国讽刺杂志《私家侦探》经常嘲讽企业的鬼话,它曾开设固定专栏,指出企业在产品上贴上“解决方案”一词的荒谬趋势;地毯变成“覆盖地板的解决方案”。(巴托比一直想创办一家致力于将物品溶解在水中的公司,这样它就可以被称为“溶液解决方案”。)如今,人们的嘲笑对象是DNA这个词的使用,比如“完美的客户服务存在于我们的DNA中”。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
phenomenon [fi'nɔminən]

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n. 现象,迹象,(稀有)事件

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describe [dis'kraib]

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vt. 描述,画(尤指几何图形),说成

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vacuum ['vækjuəm]

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n. 真空,空间,真空吸尘器
adj. 真空的

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explanation [.eksplə'neiʃən]

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n. 解释,说明

 
imprecise [,impri'sais]

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adj. 不精确的;不严密的;不确切的

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plane [plein]

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adj. 平的,与飞机有关的
n. 飞机,水平

 
gadgets [gæ,dʒets]

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n. 小配件;小工具(gadget的复数)

 
obscure [əb'skjuə]

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adj. 微暗的,难解的,不著名的,[语音学]轻音的

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legal ['li:gəl]

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adj. 法律的,合法的,法定的

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tendency ['tendənsi]

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n. 趋势,倾向

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