lie back and don’t think of English

This latest “vision statement”
is filling me with anguish –
it’s a crime against coherence,
an assault upon the language:

0000000000 We’ve elevated excellence
0000000000 by putting it on pillars
0000000000 to initialise our strategy
Is a consultant going to bill us?

0000000000 We’re proactive and collaborative.
0000000000 We’re driving forward strategy
0000000000 with our distinctive roadmap…
Please excuse my burst of profanity.

0000000000 We’ve got the means and mechanisms,
0000000000 and pathways by the score,
0000000000 and we’re acting (now) on insight
What were we acting on before???

0000000000 Our wide array of touch-points
just hang-on, is that legal?
‘cause I don’t want you to touch me!
0000000000 will provide the means and vehicle!

wait, you’re giving me a car?
0000000000 We’ve identified key prerequisites
0000000000 to realising a fulfilling experience
That’s not a car then, is it?

0000000000 We’ll be cementing impactful
0000000000 life-long relationships,
0000000000we’re prioritising critical insights
(okay Kate, just get a grip…)

0000000000We’re establishing new pathways
0000000000and embracing opportunity,
0000000000and our dialogue is meaningful
0000000000 in building our community.

0000000000We’re pursuing new initiatives,
0000000000with means and motivations
0000000000we’re augmenting and enhancing..
but not your grammar or punctuation?

So you’ve sent me this new “Vision”,
and asked me for my feedback.
Well it’s certainly got “impact” –
four times in a single paragraph!

You’ve asked for my opinion,
0000000000we’re engaged in consultation,
but really I’d prefer to stand
clear of your verbal masturbation.

But if you really need a statement,
I’ll close my eyes and bear it,
(try not to think of English…)
Okay, here’s something. You can share it:

“This vision’s so well engineered –
with pillars, vehicles and cement,
amid the pathways and mechanisms,
no one will notice there’s no content.”


It’s been a while since I’ve had a rant. But I had a bad experience early this week.
One of my students used the phrase “actualise their potential” at me. How dare she use such language – and at me?? What did I ever do to deserve that?
But then later in the week I was sent a draft “Vision statement” to provide feedback on. And it made me realise that it wasn’t the student’s fault, it was the bad influences that she’d been subjected to. We can’t blame young people for their abuse of the language when people in authority (or the management consultants they pay) set such an appalling example.
These poor innocents see Strategies and Values Statements every time they open their email. They read phrases such as “elevating excellence” and “cementing impactfulness” in drafts for consultation (seriously, I’m not making up any of this).  No wonder they becomes desensitized, and such atrocities are perpetuated…


Filed under poem, rants

22 responses to “lie back and don’t think of English

  1. I ‘daren’t’ (sic) know where to start with this, Kate.
    But can I just say,
    colon, second bracket?
    el oh el!


  2. Visions must be vague, an open-ended blur, so from wisdom to the plague, anything can occur and be what’s meant by what they sent.

    I don’t think you get a car, though. 😄

  3. Msdedeng

    Haha, thanks for the laugh. Let me guess, you are an English teacher, right?

  4. Hilarious. It seems much has changed since my years at school.

  5. omg how hidieous! like my spelling sic. i hate the word potential. as an autistic high functioner. please do not mention my potential or how sharp i am. as to mission statement, sounds like a scam. i m sorry for your bad time but ty for sharing. peace

  6. Aww, I understand. This vision statement really seems like a joke. Sorry you had to face that incident with your student. Whether intentional or not, those actions can still be pretty hurtful. Don’t let these things get to you. I’m sure, with or without this ridiculous, you’ll continue to be the amazing teacher that you are. Hugs 💜💜

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