We’re writing up some workshop notes. Across the room are a management consultant and her client. The consultant is saying that she wants to get the client to find alternative vocabulary to business speak. We agree that’s a good idea. We’ve written about it ourselves elsewhere.

She uses as an example the term ‘reaching out’. We agree with that too and again we’ve used it as an example.

We thought we’d found a kindred spirit.

But then she said “I don’t know what the alternative to ‘reaching out’ might be, but we can brainstorm ideas”.

We had assumed that when she said she wanted an alternative to business speak she meant using plain English, but apparently not. After all, the plain English equivalents of ‘reaching out’ are obvious and don’t need a brainstorm: “I spoke to them”, “I rang them” “I wrote to them”, and so on.

So it will be interesting to see what sort of third language the brainstorm produces.