Microspeak: Action on

Raymond Chen

I have been fortunate to have been spared exposure to this particular corner of Microspeak, but others have not been so lucky.

Have you actioned on this ask?

It’s not clear whether actioning on something means that you’ve started it or you’ve finished it. As a result, this is another case of using jargon to impede communication. The inventors of this particular form of Microspeak must be proud of themselves, for not only have they verbed a noun, they coupled it with an unnecessary preposition. But they aren’t content to stop there. It wasn’t long before the noun that got verbed got re-nouned!

Here is our list of action-ons.

The obfuscation is now complete. Nobody knows whether this is a list of things they want to do, a list of things for which management has given their approval, a list of things for which work has begun, or a list of things which have been completed! The only thing that is clear from that sentence is that there’s a list of some sort.

And I’m sure they’re working on obfuscating that, too.


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