July 19th, 2005


userinfo senji
2005/07/19 16:47:00 - How to liven up your business speak #46
  • Talk about geographies rather than areas, regions, or countries – it's prettier.

Current Mood: [mood icon] bored
Entry Tags: cynical, one-liner, work

< | 9 glosses | comment | > )

userinfo yrieithydd
2005/07/19 16:13:12
It is? Geographies strikes me as ugly!
reply | thread )
userinfo cartesiandaemon
[userpic]
2005/07/19 16:23:27
I think that may have been sarcasm. All that was missing was changing the title to "enbiggenise your lexigraphic utilisation"
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo slakko
[userpic]
2005/07/19 17:45:09
Sarcasm or not, it actually makes sense in a business context. The way most multinationals are structured across countries is simply not consistent, so you may have someone as "Managing Director, UK business", and someone else as "Managing Director, Asia-Pacific", at the same level (for a company with a long-established UK business and a number of smaller subsidiaries or regional offices in Australia, NZ, Singapore, Japan, HK etc.) Referring to these as 'geographies' is actually about the only way to describe them in one accurate word.

This has been your ConsultantSpeak lesson #46a.
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2005/07/19 18:05:37
That's a valid argument for "regions", but pluralising geography blatantly isn't the same thing. Except in the case of parallel dimensions with signifiacntly different terrain.
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo slakko
[userpic]
2005/07/19 23:16:10
In such a situation 'regions' is subject to overloading (even when not talking about Scotland), and 'territories' is already overloaded given its use as a political subdivision in a number of countries.

There is also the traditional 'mixed metaphor' argument here - if you call each of your different areas 'regions' then you are making the implicit case that you can just take what you do in one area and roll it out straightforwardly. By using 'geographies', the image is of 'different terrain', as you've pointed out, and therefore implied in the situation is the claim that each business unit will need a different product strategy to succeed (and this makes a good claim for having each such team run as a separate unit).
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2005/07/20 08:28:41
Well, how about "area"? Or "locale"? "dominion"? "realm"? "sector"? "division"? I guess I see no value to neologisms, particularly ones that bastardise the language, to cover the obivous - and it is obvious that doing business in For'n Parts requires different techniques.

Geography is a singular noun because it refers to a single academic subject: describing the land. All of the land, not just a small bit of it. That's also why you have cartography but maps: one subject, many products. Unless and until there different kinds of geography that can be applied to any particular area, geography is not pluralised.
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo slakko
[userpic]
2005/07/21 11:42:43
Geography is a singular noun

The good people at Merriam-Webster might have something to say about that.

Main Entry: ge·og·ra·phy
Pronunciation: jE-'ä-gr&-fE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -phies
Etymology: Latin geographia, from Greek geOgraphia, from geOgraphein to describe the earth's surface, from geO- + graphein to write -- more at CARVE
1 : a science that deals with the description, distribution, and interaction of the diverse physical, biological, and cultural features of the earth's surface
2 : the geographic features of an area
3 : a treatise on geography
4 : a delineation or systematic arrangement of constituent elements : CONFIGURATION the philosophers ... have tried to construct geographies of human reason -- Times Literary Supplement


Not that that definition does much to back up my argument, either.
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2005/07/21 14:36:21
It does a fair bit to make philosophers and writers of literary supplements look like prats, though, which is probably a good thing... ;)
reply | parent | thread )
userinfo king_of_wrong
[userpic]
2005/07/19 18:02:21
Why? It's a perfectly crumulent word.
reply | parent | thread )

< | 9 glosses | comment | > )

How to liven up your business speak #46 - Squaring the circle...

> log in
> recent entries
> fiends
> archive
> toothywiki page
> profile
> new entry
> recent comments


> go to top