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為什么管理者們總愛使用行業黑話(下)

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In her book about life in the tech industry, “Uncanny Valley”, Anna Wiener used the term “garbage language” to describe “a sort of nonlanguage which was neither beautiful nor especially efficient”. Tech executives spouted a very grand vision of how they would reshape society but their rhetoric often clashed with the hard reality of what they were doing, which was to sell advertising or monopolise users’ time. It is a variation on the old Ralph Waldo Emerson dictum: “The louder he mentioned his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.”

安娜·維納在她寫的一本關于科技行業生活的書《詭異谷》中,用“垃圾語言”來形容“一種既不漂亮也不特別高效的非語言”??萍脊镜母吖軅兇笳勌卣勊麄儗⑷绾沃厮苌鐣暮陚ピ妇?,但他們的言論往往與他們正在做的事情——出售廣告或壟斷用戶的時間——這一殘酷現實相沖突。這是拉爾夫·沃爾多·愛默生那句古老格言的變體:“他提到自己的榮譽的聲音越大,我們數勺子的速度就越快?!?/p>

The third reason why managers use jargon is to establish their credentials. What makes one person fit to manage another? It is hard to identify any obvious attributes; managers are not like doctors, who prove their expertise through passing exams and practical training. If you can speak the language of management, you appear qualified to rule. If others don’t understand terms like “synergy” and “paradigm”, that only demonstrates their ignorance. In a sense, managers are acting rather like medieval priests, who conducted services in Latin rather than in the local language, adding to the mystical nature of the process.

管理者使用行話的第三個原因是為了證明他們的資歷。是什么讓一個人適合管理另一個人?很難找出任何明顯的特征;管理者不像醫生,他們通過考試和實習訓練來證明自己的專業技能。如果你會說管理學的語言,那你看起來就有資格管理別人。如果其他人不理解“協同”和“范例”這樣的術語,那只能說明他們的無知。從某種意義上說,管理者們的行為更像是中世紀的牧師,他們用拉丁語而不是當地語言進行儀式,這增加了儀式的神秘性。

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Once corporate jargon is established, it is hard for managers to avoid using it. The terms are ever-present in PowerPoint slides, speeches and annual reports. Not to use them would suggest a manager is not sufficiently committed to the job. Junior staff, for their part, dare not question the language for fear of damaging their promotion prospects.

企業行話一旦形成,管理人員就很難避免使用它。這些術語經常出現在PPT幻燈片、演講和年度報告中。不使用它們就意味著管理者對工作不夠投入。就初級員工而言,他們不敢質疑這種語言,因為他們擔心會損害他們的晉升前景。

Of course, new words will inevitably be coined in the world of business, as in other areas of life. Technology has ushered in a range of terms, such as hardware and software, which were once unfamiliar but are now widely understood. But a lot of the more irritating jargon has been brought in from other areas of life, like the self-help movement.

當然,就像在生活的其他領域一樣,在商業領域也不可避免地會出現新詞。技術帶來了一系列術語,比如硬件和軟件,這些曾經生僻的術語現在已經被廣泛理解。但很多更令人惱火的術語是從生活的其他領域引入的,比如自助運動。

All this matters because the continued use of obscure language is a sign that the speaker is not thinking clearly. And if those in charge aren’t thinking clearly, that’s bad for the business. People who are in real command of the detail are able to explain things in a way that is easily understood. And if a manager’s colleagues understand the message, they are more likely to get the right things done. Jargon gets in the way.

所有這些都很重要,因為持續使用晦澀難懂的語言是說話者思維不清晰的標志。主管們的思路不清晰對公司是不利的。真正掌握細節的人能夠以一種容易理解的方式解釋事情。如果管理者的同事理解了這一信息,他們就更有可能把正確的事情做好。行話礙事。

譯文由可可原創,僅供學習交流使用,未經許可請勿轉載。

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inevitably [in'evitəbli]

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adv. 不可避免地

 
medieval [medi'i:vəl]

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adj. 中世紀的

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understand [.ʌndə'stænd]

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vt. 理解,懂,聽說,獲悉,將 ... 理解為,認為<

 
avoid [ə'vɔid]

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vt. 避免,逃避

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efficient [i'fiʃənt]

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adj. 效率高的,勝任的

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range [reindʒ]

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n. 范圍,行列,射程,山脈,一系列
v. 排

 
paradigm ['pærədaim]

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credential [kri'denʃəl]

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describe [dis'kraib]

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vt. 描述,畫(尤指幾何圖形),說成

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rhetoric ['retərik]

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