Weasel Word Wednesday #11 – synergy

This one comes as a suggestion from my PR industry colleague Emma in Hong Kong. I’m so glad to hear the plague of corporate speak is evenly spread across the globe!

Synergy. In my view this word doesn’t belong in business. I know it has various scientific uses and that’s fine. My reasoning is that it is not specific enough. ‘Synergy’ is used to refer to some kind of benefit resulting from combining two different groups, people, objects or processes or having them work together in some way. So it could mean just about anything. Let’s instead talk about exactly what is being done instead of just ‘creating synergy’. Between what? and for what benefit?

However it gets worse when it becomes a verb (to synergise) or an adjective (synergistic). Taking a nice line from Don Waton’s original Weasel Words book:

Love and marriage,

synergise like a horse and carriage.

Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?


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