business English global English green English

BE, you were red hot … but it’s time for green

And so we say goodbye to Business English month … which was the bees knees, what with all the hilarity generated by Stan Carey’s gobbledegook (gobbledegook is one of my least favourite words in the world by the way. I won’t use it again). Our two favourite translators won themselves a dictionary each after a colorful Biticodes review, and well-deserved winners they were too. But May wasn’t all about corporate-speak bashing. It wasn’t.

Our blogger, Jonathan Cole, does love a good wordle, so much so that he made two: a comparison of the most popular Business English words of 2010 and 2011. From this I get: ‘well one, Lehman’ for 2010 and ‘Buffett economy’ for 2011, but that’s just nonsense, clearly. Could be interesting to use these wordles as a topic-starter in your BE class.

The Language of Finance 2011 The Language of Finance Wordle






Vicki Hollett brought us the softer side of the language of business, which seems to have everything to do with the business of language. It may not come as any surprise to you that talk at work is not confined to talk about work – only a minute ago I was swapping a recipe with a colleague sitting right next to me! ;-o

… what makes business talk really interesting, I think, is the human element. Things don’t generally happen unless people want them to so influence and relationships are really important as well. Along with the transactional stuff we find people sharing personal experiences that might bond, compliments and signals of appreciation, attention to status and role and avoidance of unwelcome intrusion. Plus jokes, of course, and lots of small talk*. As Deborah Tannen pointed out, talk at work is not confined to talk about work.
[* We’ll have our magnifying glasses out to look closely at small talk later in the year.]

And, there’s lots more to review in archive on our Business English page, including teaching tips from the microblog, blog posts by esteemed guests … and more of Stan Carey’s musings.

So goodbye corporate world, hello the green hills of regeneration: this month we’re heading into the polluted-but-we’re-working-on-it world of Green English. We’ll  be looking at just how language has changed and grown to incorporate our eco-friendly focus. So get on your bicycles and follow our (carbon) footprints through this June green spot of recycle, upcycle and whycycle (I made the last one up). It’s going to be fun … in an environmentally low-impact sort of way, of course.

It is with sincere appreciation that we thank you for touching base with us during the course of this last 30-day period. We certainly hope that we hit all your imagination buttons, at least in the immediate and on this particular field of play.

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Laine Redpath Cole

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