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Monday, December 15, 2003


Sorry to post the contents of a circulating email but I couldn't pass this one up. I'm sure most people in the corporate world hear all of these phrases more and more...

Frank Lingua, president and CEO of Dissembling Associates, is the nation's leading purveyor of buzzwords, catch phrases and cliches for people too busy to speak in plain English. Business Finance contributing editor Dan Danbom interviewed Lingua in his New York City office.

Danbom: Is being a cliche expert a full-time job?

Lingua: Bottom line is I have a full plate 24/7.

D. Is it hard to keep up with the seemingly endless supply of cliches
that spew from business?

L. Some days, I don't have the bandwidth. It's like drinking from a
fire hydrant.

D. So it's difficult?

L. Harder than nailing Jell-O to the wall.

D. Where do most cliches come from?

L. Stakeholders push the envelope until it's outside the box.

D. How do you track them once they've been coined?

L. It's like herding cats.

D. Can you predict whether a phrase is going to become a cliche?

L. Yes. I skate to where the puck's going to be. Because if you aren't
the lead dog, you're not providing a customer-centric proactive

D. Give us a new buzzword that we'll be hearing ad nauseam.

L. "Enronitis" could be a next-generation player.

D. Do people understand your role as a cliche expert?

L. No, they can't get their arms around that. But they aren't incented

D. How do people know you're a cliche expert?

L. I walk the walk and talk the talk.

D. Did incomprehensibility come naturally to you?

L. I wasn't wired that way, but it became mission-critical as I
strategically focused on my go-forward plan.

D. What did you do to develop this talent?

L. It's not rocket science. It's not brain surgery. When you drill down
to the granular level, it's just basic blocking and tackling.

D. How do you know if you're successful in your work?

L. At the end of the day, it's all about robust, world-class language

D. How do you stay ahead of others in the buzzword industry?

L. Net-net, my value proposition is based on maximizing synergies and
being first to market with a leveraged, value-added deliverable. That's
the opportunity space on a level playing field.

D. Does everyone in business eventually devolve into the sort of
mindless drivel you spout?

L. If you walk like a duck and talk like a duck, you're a duck. They
all drink the Kool-Aid.

D. Do you read "Dilbert" in the newspaper?

L. My knowledge base is deselective of fiber media.

D. Does that mean "no"?

L. Negative.


L. Let's take your issues offline.


L. You have a result-driven mind-set that isn't a strategic fit with my
game plan.


L. Your perspective on this topic is very important to me.

D. How can you live with yourself?

L. I eat my own dog food. My vision is to monetize scalable supply

D. When are you going to quit this?

L. I may eventually exit the business to pursue other career

D. I hate you.

L. Take it and run with it.

[From an email currently being circulated among some of the less
employable elements in Silicon Valley.]

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