January 2, 2014

Knowing another language can come in handy.  For example, I recall enough from my high school and college French classes to be able to get by – or at least ask for directions to the bathroom – if I ever find myself in France.  And, my years in law school and law practice armed me with enough arcane “Legalese” (not an actual language, but derived from Latin) terms and phrases to be able to navigate the legal system.

I also know corporate-speak.  Most of that, however, is just plain silly.

The Wall Street Journal recently surveyed business executives to get their take on which corporate buzzwords should be banned from the boardroom.  While I agree that all of the winning(?) terms are over-used, I think that a few do convey helpful imagery and are therefore worth keeping, namely “push the envelope,”  “out of the box,” and “low hanging fruit.”    That’s about it, though.  “Going forward?”  Unnecessary, extra words.  “Game change?”  Business is not a game.  “Ideate?”  What exactly does that mean, anyway?  And “reach out?”  I’m not sure why, but that one has always made me cringe.

Corporate-speak is so pervasive in the business world that I used to amuse myself by amassing my own collection of boardroom bromides.  Here are some representative gems, all taken from real-world meetings, presentations, calls, and emails, and most uttered by otherwise smart and talented people:

“interesting data point”

“fortify our talent roadmap”

“delayer organizations”

“brand refresh rollout”

“drive efficiencies and standardization”

“deliver incremental customer value”

“internal stakeholder support”

“socialize the draft to the team”

“start productionizing”

“socialize it for input”

“assuring interlock”

“generate differentiated value”

“surface the concerns”

And the list goes on … but I’ll spare you.


The Widsom of Youth

December 9, 2013
We had sleet and freezing rain last night, but Albemarle County opted for a 2-hour school delay this morning, rather than canceling.  The decision prompted a varying and entertaining range of reactions.  Some choice FB comments from local students:

If we call them enough, will they overturn it?   –  Um, probably not, particularly if you organize your call-in campaign in public.

My brother almost flipped and wrecked his truck which had 4 wheel drive. –  If this is true, his brother should turn in his man card.

There’s no power in Hollymead. MY HAIR IS GROSS HOW WILL I SHOWER I WILL BE BULLIED MY HAIR IS SO GREASY YOU COULD COOK BACON ON IT.  – This one gets creativity points for working in the anti-bullying theme.

I mean did y’all not even consider what student/parents are hasseling through.  –  It’s her world and the rest of us are just living in it!

This is probably the dumbest decision you guys have ever called.  – Really?

I am very disappointed in your judgment ACPS. Very disappointed.  – Ah, playing the dreaded “disappointed” card.  This guy means business.

I wish I went to school down here 🙂  –  No doubt posted by an amused northerner who is accustomed to school staying open no matter what.

It seems a little unfair to have school when some students can’t come due to they can’t even get up their driveway.  –  Interesting angle – having school will penalize those who cannot come. A budding lawyer, no doubt.

So I just walked outside and slipped on Ice trying to open my car again, and I cut my hand two seconds after impact with ground and now I need to go to a doctor in this weather. See what you guys have done?   – When all else fails, try the guilt approach.

Lets not forget, if there is melting there are tons of creeks that run through out the Scottsville area that flood easily and prevent people from driving.  – We might have a volcano eruption as well!

I don’t really care about going to school or doing homework or any of that. I just wanted to go snowboarding, hahaha.  –  At least he’s honest.

I didn’t do my homework…  – Isn’t this what all the rest are really saying?

The Conservative Constitution

January 6, 2011

Everything funny has at least a shade of truth behind it. This piece from the Washington Post has a shade and then some.


February 20, 2010

This afternoon I’m taking my Cub Scout den to see the U.Va vs. Maryland wrestling match. In addition to being a fun outing that will help them satisfy one of their requirements for a badge, I thought that going to a collegiate wrestling match would be educational as well. When I told my 6-year-old son about the planned outing, he confirmed my hunch.

“Will we get to see The Undertaker? Because my friend said The Undertaker took down Romeo Roselli.”

“Um, no Will, that’s a different kind of wrestling. That kind is fake, but the kind we are going to see is real.”

“Oh. Will they still get bleedy?”

This should be an eye-opening experience for this group of 6 and 7 year-olds. I hope they won’t be disappointed when no one gets hit over the head with a folding chair.

It’s Split

September 30, 2008

“It’s split.”

Fair and balanced, for sure.

Thanks to Kos for the link.


July 17, 2008

I had every intention of posting something serious tonight – perhaps even “Law Practice Part IV”, in which I explain why I joined the ranks of “recovering” litigators, and have never (well, rarely) looked back.

Nah, not tonight. Instead, I offer this video for your entertainment and edification. Because “barbeque” is not a verb. It is not a grill. It is meat, prepared in a very special way. Preferably vinegar-based….

Only in Alaska….

June 29, 2007

Coming soon to a streetcorner near you?