Friday, 1 May 2009


Business jargon is complex as it is. It is made even more unintelligible by meaningless acronyms. Think of how much drivel we spout every day in the office.

Yesterday, my daughter was telling me of the classes she had in her primary school. She said one of her classes was VCOP. For the life of me I could not understand what on earth it was. She didn't either ! I finally discovered that it was "Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation". Oh ! She was having an English class !

This reminded me of my first day at work, all those years ago. I had graduated from business school and was starry eyed and ready to take on the world . I was supposed to be a finance "cat". I walk in , into a leading company and was shown the management accounting template of the company which read like this

I gaped at it open mouthed. Here I was, reasonably intelligent, from a good business school and I couldn't understand a word. It was a most humbling experience.

We do this all the time. Any business document is totally unreadable by a layman. Its full of silly abbreviations.

In one of the companies I worked in, before you clinched a sale, you had to do a DRB, where you outlined the stage in SPADE, attached a CODEC, defended GOP in IFRS and non IFRS terms, got approval for a BAFO and finally signed a SLA ! Ha ha !!

Can we get plain and simple English back into business please.

The Pox on Acronyms - in case you were wondering what the title of this post meant.


Adesh Sidhu said...

Haha...with SMS and Twitter emerging as new communication channels, acronyms are spilling in our personal life as well.

Ramesh said...


kiwibloke said...

TLAs are the in thing! Ask any MBA.
(TLA - three letter acronyms)
PS: Have you seen/heard of the buzz phrase generator? Brilliant thing and a liberal usage of it in presentations makes you sound erudite without having to take the trouble of being so.

le embrouille blogueur said...

Good one ...I am LQTM ....Laughing Quietly To Myself !!

Anonymous said...

ROTFLMGO (Rolling on the floor laughing my guts out) ... and trust me, I haven't made this up!

I can really relate to this one. I come from schools where teachers were quite austere when it came to languages, be it English or Hindi. One of them used to find it rude to use jargons and acronyms in a forum where even one person is not supposed to know them! - Deepa.

Ramesh said...

@kiwi - Since we are both well qualified for the TLA category, we can make liberal use of the buzz phase generator.

@blogueur - Ha Ha

@Deepa - Hee Ho Ho

Aashish said...

Like Bruce Willis once said (trying to get the fingerprints of a dead perp in Die Hard 2, I think) - This is the new SOP for a DOA in the FAA.

Ramesh said...

Aashish - lol

Anonymous said...

Good one Ramesh. Hole in one :-)

Ramesh said...

TY Anon, for saying HIO.

Shalini Surendran said...

Láo Míng Zhì..:)
Just discovered ur blog!
U have lot of nice posts to ur collection!
Will revert with more comments once I am really into reading all of them! :)


Ramesh said...

Thanks for visiting Shalini

Anonymous said...

Good one Ramesh! When I was a new joinee at my former firm, the vets swaggered around spouting all these acronyms. And I used to think how idiotic it looks until a couple years later I myself was spouting all the same stuffs (to impress the nnewbies, that too!! ) Anyways its a couple years since I m off the workforce and I am back to normal again!! ;-)

Ramesh said...

Hey thoughtful train - thanks for delving into the archives. You are more than normal. OMG, you don't LOL or ROFL, you just plain smile and laugh. And you just write lovely poems with simple words.

Athivas said...

The first time I read LOL in my comment box, I googled it, so did I for ROTFL and a few others. Sometimes, I also feel I am uncool not to have known these :(

Ramesh said...

@athivas - Cross my heart, I did the same thing too when I first encountered these strange abbreviations. I am willing to bet everybody else did too. So we are not uncool !!

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