Thursday, April 30, 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.