Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/28/lets_touch_base/

Brits decline to 'think outside the box'

Don't want to 'touch base', either

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 28th November 2008 11:58 GMT

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It's official: Brits do not, at the end of the day, want to think outside the box, touch base, indulge in blue-sky thinking or, for that matter, get pro-active with some 360° thinking.

That's the verdict of a YouGov poll into "buffling" - the irresistible urge to turdspurt business jargon in the hope it makes you look linguistically in the loop while pushing the lexicographical envelope.

Of all the buffling outrages, "thinking outside of the box" topped the most-despised list, followed by "touch base" and "at the end of the day".

So, you're wondering, if buffling is so pointlessly irritating, why do it? Well, 49 per cent of the 2,035 adults polled reckon "the use of such terms is on the increase as employees seek to impress their bosses", as the Telegraph puts it.

A chilling 20 per cent, meanwhile, really believe that buffling "has had or would have a positive impact on their career", while 46 per cent admitted they'd buffled at home, or to friends.

A spokesman for Ramada Encore hotels, which commissioned the survey, said: "It's bad enough when people at work talk about 'blue-sky thinking' and 'singing from the same hymn sheet', but now we're starting to use these clichéd phrases at home."

If your heart can stand it, here are the top 20 Strategy Boutique Newspeakisms:

  1. Thinking outside of the box
  2. Touch base
  3. At the end of the day
  4. Going forward
  5. All of it
  6. Blue sky thinking
  7. Out of the box
  8. Credit crunch
  9. Heads up
  10. Singing from the same hymn sheet
  11. Pro-active
  12. Downsizing
  13. Ducks in a row
  14. Brainstorming
  15. Thought shower
  16. 360° thinking
  17. Flag it up
  18. Pushing the envelope
  19. At this moment in time
  20. In the loop

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