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Letters: 'Delight' as corporate jargon

May 15, 2013

Re "Tech firms begin to see 'delight' in a new light," Column One, May 10

I spent many years consulting to the corporate world, teaching where commas go and how to use semicolons. However, the majority of my work consisted of getting participants to recognize jargon and find straightforward and clear alternatives to that obfuscating form of English.

I actually laughed out loud about 15 years ago when, for the first time, I saw the phrase "customer delight" in a corporate document. I immediately pictured an actual Customer Delight, an enormous sundae at Baskin-Robbins topped with a mountain of whipped cream, sauce, nuts and the obligatory cherry on top.

Corporate jargon is just as nourishing as that overloaded sundae. Please don't tell me that "scalability," "paradigm" and "freemium" have become enduring lingo. I am not delighted.

Judi Birnberg

Sherman Oaks

My playful cats Guinness and Guinnevere, the otters on the webcam at the Monterrey Aquarium, the first ice cream cone of summer — these are the things in life that delight me.

If I ever, ever derive delight from an online payroll function, I'll ask my husband (who also delights me) to lock me up with no Internet and throw away the key.

Maddie Gavel-Briggs



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