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August 03, 2010


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I've always been puzzled by how the expression "out of pocket," which used to be applied to an expense you paid from your own funds, got twisted in corporate-speak to mean "unavailable, unreachable."

Oh I loathe corporatese. Spent years in product marketing. Let it be known that the odious language usually came directly from our CEOs.

I was really surprised when a few years ago when CNBC started advertising their "actionable news." Not that I was unaware of the business jargon sense, but I couldn't believe that they were apparently blithely ignoring the fact that to many people, they were saying that their news was lawsuit-worthy.

The standard, legal definition of actionable relies on a meaning of action that most people would rarely use, seeing it only in the phrase "class-action suit." The despised usage is much clearer, using a more normal meaning for action.

How about "oversight"? When you have it, you're in charge. If you commit it, you're probably fired.

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