Did You Say What I Thought I Heard?

First, a happy new year to all.

But now to the important stuff. We are all challenged with meetings — too many, too long, too … well, you can fill in your own word here. However, I’ve found a way to get some real value out of all these meetings. I pay attention.
Now, before you go off on me for being obvious, I don’t mean paying attention to what people are trying to say. I mean paying attention to what they are actually saying. The following is a list of actual statements (I am not making these up; I didn’t steal them from some Internet/e-mail list) that were made during meetings I have recently attended:
“We’re getting into newer water.”
“Kind of a combined stand alone with a collaborative effect.”
“Give yourself an applause.”
“We need you to be the adversaries of this workshop.”
“It’s intuitive once you get used to it.”
“We have to be creative inside the box.”
And my two personal favorites:
“We need to be kind of explicit.”
And the gentleman who stood in front of a group of managers, explaining why he didn’t sleep through the night, consistently explaining that he had “an incest tooth.”
I think I have to reiterate it here — I did not make these up. I’ve got more — but that should get you going.
So, anything you’ve heard lately?

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 by Mike Jacka

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  1. Thanks for the link Mike.  I love the wall quotes and your insight into the other side of the mind of the auditor.

  1. some of my favorites:

    "guys, you need to feel comfortable speaking your mind around here.  There are no secret cows."

    "you have to understand, there's a lot of confusion out there.  People in the field sit around and wonder what the heck is going on up here in the white eiffel tower."

    happy new year


  1. How about (all actually stated during meetings) -

    "We are going to take a loose tight approach"  (which, I guess, helps assure good bad results)

    "It's a mute point" (as opposed to one which speaks for itself?)

    and my favorite,

    "There are a urethra of possibilities."

  1. Those are great.  Started reading them out loud at work and set the whole group laughing.

    And, you know what?  Let's talk about mute points for a second.  One of my absolute pet peeves.  No matter how smart the individual responsible for the utterance, such phrases as "mute point", "irregardless", "literally" (when they are not being literal) make me want to break out the Remedial English for Dummies book and give them a crash course.  (Emphasis on crash.)  I don't speak gooder than anyone else, but I do my best to use words correctly.  (And don't even get me started about the overuse of "um" or any of its wordier replacements - that's a rant for another day.)  (And, while we're at it - how about "up on".  Is this as opposed to "up off".  Or "very unique".  Unique is already very unique.  And...)  I'll stop - let's get back to "Things I overheard in a meeting."


  1. THANK YOU  for the reference to "irregardless" - that one drives me crazy, but so many people use it, I was beginning to think it was just me...

  1. "The decision makes sense; whatever it was." 

    The meeting was running on a long held assumption for which no one could recall the original logic.  The individual who said it was being intentionally Yogi Berra-ish, but the point was lost on the crowd. 

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