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Don’t Drink the Cliché Kool-Aid

September 24, 2012

I’m working on a post in my head that describes the production of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street as a triumph of project management. Until it becomes more than a fuzzy-might-never-actually-become-a-post concept, I’ll just write about how much I despise business clichés. Today’s annoying cliché was, of course, in yet another article on cloud computing, titled, Drunk on Cloud Kool-Aid? Time To Sober Up. A quick search of Cheesy Corporate Lingo provides “Kool-Aid” definitions in English:

(1). To accept corporate propoganda as truth, often feigned in an attempt to curry favor with one’s superiors.

(2). To blindly follow what other companies are doing regardless of how silly and/or unprofitable the move may be.

“Alright, team, we’re just going to drink the Kool-Aid on this one. I have a tee time in an hour.”

Actually, the term did provide me a smile as I thought of the Kool-Aid Man as depicted in “Family Guy,” but that’s not important right now. What’s important is how we’ve allowed all these clichés to lazily substitute for plain English. As my daughter might say to my four year old granddaughter, “Use your words.” Can you imagine being at the dinner table with family… some younger, some older, just chatting agreeably (I know, unrealistic at a family dinner, but just stay with me…), and saying something like, “Hey, we’re eating our own dog food here.” In addition to really insulting the cook, most everyone at the table would look at you like you were an idiot. Just imagine how Mom or Grammy would look at you, so disappointed.

Use your words.

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