Thursday, November 3, 2011

Idioms and Idiocy

I guess if you're a "branding specialist" you have to be both corny and corporate. However, before actually meeting a "branding specialist," I never considered how that particular combination (corny and corporate) would manifest itself in a human being.

Then, the other day, I attended a presentation about a re-branding or brand-consolidating initiative my company is undertaking, and as I listened, I could not help but be struck by the outrageous number of idioms that crept into the presenter's speech. When I finally regained the presence of mind to write these down (about halfway through the presentation), here is what I came up with:

  • Where the rubber meets the road
  • Don't need to recreate the wheel
  • Everyone's an expert
  • The sizzle and the steak (I personally have no idea what this one means, but he said it more than once, so someone must know!)
  • Very finger-wagging
  • The cart before the horse
  • Roll it out (This is right up there with my all-time least favorite corporate-speak terms; it should be used in reference to pie baking and nothing else)
  • Take the learning and bake it into our process (Not an idiom, but it was such a bad metaphor I had to include it)

    And perhaps the best of all:

  • I'm not going to teach my grandmother to suck eggs

    This last one I had to look up on Wikipedia when I got back to my desk. I invite you to do so now.

    Please consider all of these constituted only half of his presentation, which was maybe a half-hour long at best. I challenge you, reader, to use all of these idioms (and bad metaphors) in a single day. Your achievement earns you . . . my undying admiration. But isn't that worth having?

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