Death To Media-Speak

I’ve been working in the media industry for eight years now. How in God’s name did that happen? I find it mind-numbing in its repetitiveness and all round pretentiousness. If it isn’t colleagues who spend most of the day running into meetings to discuss what-we-discussed-at-the-last-meeting, then it’s media agency idiots who only spend budget with businesses who have taken them out to lavish restaurants or given them other bribes ‘gifts’. And there was me thinking that they might use their positions as media ‘experts’ to analyse all the options for their clients before spending the budgets wisely.

But what really grates with me the most, is the nonsense media jargon that spews forth from people’s mouths, seemingly bypassing their grey matter on the expressway of monotony and repeated, mantra-like, by everyone else as if all other words are banned and you’re forbidden from using your own meaningful vocabulary. I have no idea if this ‘media-speak’ is a disease that is spreading to offices in other industries. So if it’s not, then allow me to give you an insight…

“Buzz me an email” – Perfectly acceptable terminology for those in the beekeeping profession no doubt, but totally unnecessary otherwise.  But it doesn’t stop there. Substitute ‘buzz’ with any of ‘drop’, ‘ping’, ‘zip’ or ‘zap’ on occasions to be really cool. What the hell is wrong with ‘send’? Just for fun, I am going to try to widen this useless slang to include ‘spank’ me an email. Let’s see if that catches on…

“I’m calling to touch base” – I’m sorry, but are we playing phone baseball? No. So that must mean that you just uttered a pointless expression, rather than actually telling me why you are calling. The equivalent of a speech fart, that must have been the sound of your brain whirring into first gear. And who said I wanted my base to be touched anyway?

“It’s great to e-meet you!” – Well, that’s nice, but we’re not really meeting are we? If you must annoy me with such pointless waffle, it would be great if I could e-slap you. When I receive spam email trying to entice me to buy cheap viagra (I didn’t register for it, honestly), I don’t count that as e-meeting a Chinese pharmacist.

Why were you so startled when I waited outside your office and approached you from behind a pillar, bellowing at the top of my voice? You did say “Give me a shout when you’re passing my office”.

“Imagineer” – This is quite possibly the worst media word ever uttered and thankfully too ridiculous for most to use. Only the biggest morons would use it. Just as bad is “Opporchancity” and “Guesstimate” Give me strength.

“Give me a heads-up” – What the hell are you, a meerkat? Well, no, so you can keep your head where it is, presumably up your own rectum, and I will simply inform you when there is any relevant news, if that’s what you are asking.

Ramp it up” – Again this is a perfectly logical phrase to say if you are a stunt motorcyclist, attempting to jump 20 buses. In media land, it’s hard to be sure exactly what you are saying. More sales conversions, more budget or more lunches? It’s definitely more of something. Whatever… ramp it up baby!

“I’ll put your email on file” – Is that in the file marked ‘deleted items’ by any chance? Why not be honest and admit you didn’t read it as you were too busy Facestalking an attractive media owner sales exec who sounds nice on the phone?

“Let’s have a sit down” – I sit down all day. What the hell are you talking about? Oh, you want a meeting. Well, why didn’t you just say so? When you are waiting at a bus stop, you don’t say that you’re having a ‘stand-up’, do you?

“Let’s have a round table” – You want a table?! We only have oblong shaped tables. Oh, it’s another phrase for a meeting.

“Let’s have a huddle” – Gooooooooooo wankers! You’ve guessed it. The most cringeworthy way to describe a meeting.

“I’m reaching out” – That is so cheesy it’s unreal. You make it sound like this is an intervention. What am I, a crack addict? It’s hard to hear that phrase without vomiting just a little. Like the ‘touching base’ comment, just cut to the chase without the bullshit.

“Think outside the box” & “Brain storm” – These terms are often used in a sit-down meeting. What they actually seem to mean is that those in attendance should talk absolute crap in circular arguments, before settling on what you first mentioned an hour previously and then going to the pub for a ‘de-brief’. Someone recently suggested that it was better to say ‘ideas shower’ instead of brain storm, as the latter phrase has connotations of epileptic fits. Huh?! If you don’t shut-up they’ll be a shitstorm, nevermind an ideas shower.

“Co-opertitionThis means co-operation between competing companies for the common good. But before we sit cross-legged and sing Kum-By-Ya together, a word to the wise. Two businesses that co-operate are only doing so for self-interest. They would take the opportunity to one-up the other in a heartbeat if the chance arose.

And finally, I once heard someone talking about sales leads who said: “You’ve got to squeeze the leads lemons until the pips squeak.” Words fail me

Yes, I know that there are more important things in life to worry about, but I can’t help thinking that the world I work in would be a better place if media-speak was to die a quick death, and people thought for themselves instead of acting like bleating sheep. What’s wrong with saying what you actually mean?

Anyway, enough of my rant, I’ll catch you on the flip side for some blue-sky thinking. Damn it, now I’m doing it

7 thoughts on “Death To Media-Speak

  1. Think outside the box? Is that really allowed in mainstream work culture nowadays? Great post by the way, I can totally understand how you feel, death to media-speak and all the work-speak bullshit that goes on every weekday!!

    • I guess ‘thinking outside the box’ is not as widely used, but people still use other ones without thinking!

  2. I posted on here but it vanished . . . some Media ‘guru’ probably reported it. Toned down version is that I have worked in media for fifteen years. I find the best way to deal with the dick heads who can’t speak properly (not everyone, I am not a dick head for instance), is to play along and try to counter their phrases with something even more ridiculous – as you suggest Stew -‘spank me an email’ or something else of equivalent bollocks. It might catch on, probably will in fact, and you can create your own Media Language section on Wikipedia. If this sounds too much like hard work, and let’s face it, us media lot think answering the phone is pushing it, then I suggest shouting ‘twat’ down the phone very loudly and hanging up – or even better when they ask you what you said pretend it was nothing and go off to that pointless to talk about the other pointless meeting last week. No wonder we are all alcoholics. x

    • Getting so wound up I missed a word out. Please insert the word ‘meeting’ after the word ‘pointless’ in line 9. Thanks.

    • It didn’t vanish, I have to approve comments before they are published! So I have kept your longer comment rather than having two very similar! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. OMG I hear SO many people use “think outside the box” that it makes you wonder where is this infamous box, and what the frick is in it?!

    You can’t avoid media-speak people.

    Now go watch Nathan Barley and weep.

    • True, Nathan Barley rocks! For a couple of episodes and then it started to get repetitive.

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