Wednesday 19 May 2010

Business Vocabulary: The Cogs -- The Boss Group

Image from Dreamstime

If reading comics can learn English, do you think playing computer games can too? Why not? Do you still remember that I learnt a lot of football terms by playing the PC game Football Manager? Well, today, I have yet another game to talk about. This game I have not yet played personally, but I find the concept pretty interesting and it allows teens or kidults to understand the dark side of the business world, not to mention the amount of vocabulary you can learn.

Meet the Cogs!!!

Image from Toontown Stratics

From the word cog, which is this:

Image from Price Point

or the expression a cog in a/the machine, which means "a member of a large organization whose job, although necessary, makes them feel as if they are not important"

In this game, they have characters named after popular business jargons for business people, and we will look into one group each time.

In order to maintain the originality of the game, I will just follow exactly the order of which the characters are listed on the website. In this entry, we will first look at the Boss group (Useful Vocab will be in bold):

Flunky - A person who does the minor, menial work around a business.

Clip-on Tie from Meechs

Shredder shredding from Intimus Paper Shredder
  1. Clip-On Tie - A cheap tie imitation that has a clip or a clasp that is used to "hang" the imitation on the collar of a shirt.
  2. Pound Key - The # button on a Telephone.
  3. Shred - An action used to tear up documents into thin strips of paper. Often done under the use a machine that utilizes this method.

Pencil Pusher - A person who mainly does the paperwork in a business.

  1. Finger Wag - A motion done with the finger, usually done to scold someone.
  2. Fill With Lead - In gangster terms, to shoot someone with a large number of bullets, usually from a machine gun. There is no business term.
  3. Fountain Pen - An old-fashioned pen that is filled with ink from an outside source (usually an inkwell)
  4. Rub Out - An action or a remark that usually hurts someone. (or, in gangster terms, to kill someone and hide the body.)
  5. Write Off - To reduce the value of an asset to zero.

Yesman - A person who agrees to the superior over anything and everything.

Yesman from Klue

  1. Razzle Dazzle - Action used to impress people through word of mouth.
  2. Rubber Stamp - An object with a handle and a rubber piece on the bottom that contained raised characters.
  3. Synergy - Cooperative merging of companies that create an enhanced combined effect.
  4. Tee Off - Term referring to the first stroke in a game of Golf. (Alternately, "Tee'd Off" which refers to someone losing their temper over something.)

Micromanager - is a manager closely observes or controls the work of her or his subordinates or employees. .

Tee Off from GoldProSelections

  1. Brain Storm - A sudden clever plan or idea.
  2. Buzz Word - A stylish word or phrase connected with a special group, that usually sounds important or technical. This format's usually focused to impress laypersons.
  3. Demotion - A reduction in grade, rank, or status.
  4. Finger Wag
  5. Fountain Pen

Downsizer - A person who retires (to put it nicely) workers in order to reduce the company's expenses.

Pink Slip from Don't Hate, Educate
  1. Canned - Slang for a person who is fired from a company.
  2. Downsize - To fire someone in order to reduce a company's expenses.
  3. Pink Slip - An object given to a person to indicate that he is fired.
  4. Sacked - Slang word referring to a person that's been recently fired from a company. (Note that "Sacked" and "Canned" are similar terms.)

Head Hunter - A person who recruits personnel (usually executives) for a corporation.

Half Windsor from Ties on the Rize

Rolodex from Thread Blog
  1. Fountain Pen
  2. Glower Power - To intimidate someone by using a mean look.
  3. Half Windsor - A wide silk necktie tied in a loose bow.
  4. Head Shrink - A psychiatrist.
  5. Rolodex - An item that stores people's address and business cards in an office.

Corporate Raider - A person who makes an attempt of buying out a corporation against the management of the same corporation.
Power Tie from TheImageArchitect
  1. Evil Eye - Action used to give someone a mean look, usually for intimidation.
  2. Glower Power
  3. Play Hardball - Act aggressively and ruthlessly.
  4. Power Tie - A tie used to convey influence or authority.

The Big Cheese - An important person of a company, usually the leader.

Steve Jobs from Planet Green
  1. Glower Power
  2. Tee Off

CEO - Chief Executive Officer

cog -- (n)[C] one of the tooth-like parts around the edge of a wheel in a machine which fits between those of a similar wheel, causing both wheels to move
a cog in a/the machine -- [disapproving] a member of a large organization whose job, although necessary, makes them feel as if they are not important
menial -- (adj) [disapproving] describes work that is boring, makes you feel tired, and is given a low social value
layman / layperson -- (n) [C] someone who is not trained in or does not have a detailed knowledge of a particular subject


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