Corporate Vocabulary

The evolution of words and phrasing is fun. Consider:

  • Crisis
  • Problem
  • Issue
  • Situation
  • Challenge
  • Opportunity

I see this in the corporate world. What used to be a problem is now a challenge. What was once an issue is now an opportunity. The idea is that we prove ourselves, and grow ourselves (yes, grow is used as a verb where I work without a hint of self-awareness) in situations where there are challenges. A problem gives you an opportunity to test yourself. And that’s true as far as it goes.

A neighbor was telling me how after many years, they finally had their house the way they liked it. I said we hadn’t lifted a finger since moving in. “Oh,” she gushed, “you have so many opportunities ahead of you!” What can you say to that? Gee, I just feel sorry for those poor people with their perfect mansions and perfect lives, having so little opportunity t0 make things better. It keeps me up at night thinking of their plight. If only there was something we could do for them, some kind of equal opportunity program. Yes, that’s it, equal opportunity for millionaires-with-nothing-better-to-do-than-subtly-brag-how-amazing-their-house-is. This is a constituency group that has been neglected.

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