Buzzwords that drive workers mad

The Oxford Times: One manager called for a "bird table discussion" One manager called for a "bird table discussion"

Workers have become increasingly exasperated by the bizarre management-speak used by some of their bosses, which has reached new levels of confusion.

One manager drew looks of disbelief when he told staff they should "squeeze the toothpaste", while another called for a "bird table discussion".

One of the most complained-about phrases was "Let's run this up the flagpole and see who sails it", followed closely by: "Let's tease this out."

The Plain English Campaign said the continued use of management gobbledygook was "driving people mad".

Spokesman Steve Jenner said the campaign group has received a steady stream of emails this year from workers in sectors including education and banking.

"Management gobbledygook is a complete distraction, partly to try to impress people or make them appear cleaver - when they are not," he said.

"Some people think that it is easy to bluff their way through by using long, impressive-sounding words and phrases, even if they don't know what they mean."

Top annoying buzzwords from previous years are still being used in offices and boardrooms, including " bring it to the table", " mission critical" and " there is no 'I' in team".

Chartered psychologist Kisane Prutton commented: "Whilst our wiring is receptive to imagery, we are on high alert to insults. Trite comments such as 'squeeze the toothpaste' betray a real lack of thought. People at work crave to feel valued, not reduced to some kind of basic household commodity."

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