Non-native speakers of English tell me that the basic rules of grammar aren’t too hard to learn, but the idioms are murder.
(Ok, not literally “murder,” that’s just an expression…. nevermind.)
Idioms are used by many of God’s great creatures, not just humanoids, as I learned from The Oatmeal:
So to help all of us understand better understand American business vernacular or, as our UK brethren like to say, the American bastardization of the rich, beautiful language you so unashamedly defiled, I’ve prepared the following chart.
Leave a comment if you have more!
“To be perfectly honest with you, …”
— Everything I said before this moment was bullshit.
— No I’m not.
“The deal is in the bag.”
— I’m lighting a votive candle and sacrificing a goat. It couldn’t hurt.
“In the fullness of time.”
— Maybe later, but probably never.
“It is and it isn’t.”
— It isn’t.
“Our company allows businesses to integrate, assemble and optimize available IT assets to drive business process productivity, delivering an innovative, enterprise-class business integration platform that incorporates proven integration technology with next generation capabilities into one interoperable set of tools that deliver a unique combination of efficiency, agility and control, combining industry leadership with a zealous commitment to customers to deliver tangible business value. “
— I have no idea what we do. Please give me money.
“It goes without saying that …”
— I’m about to say it.
“May be hazardous to your health.”
— Is unquestionably hazardous to your health.
“It’s not over ’till it’s over.”
— It’s over.
“It’s so hard finding good help.”
— I am a pompous ass.
“Less is more.”
— This is a steaming pile of excrement. Less of a negative is a positive.
“We’re a leading provider of …”
— I can’t think of anything else to say, and the lawyers tell me I can’t say “the” leading provider.
“Well bless your sweet little heart!”
— You’re a stupid bitch.
“It’s not personal, it’s just business.”
— I hate you. Personally.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
— …but you’re not helping.
“Congratulations again on being pregnant, what a wonderful journey you’re about to embark on!”
— I don’t have kids.
“Life starts at 40!”
— I am at least 39 years old.
Do you have more to add? Share them here!