How to Unsuck Corporate Jargon

Somewhere, a grammarian cries whenever an office email contains jargon like “upskill” or “calendarize.” Fortunately, Mule Design Studio‘s transforms business twaddle into sparse Hemingway prose—or at least English. Here, for example, is a soul-crushing bizspeak sentence translated into something E.B. White might recognize:

“We can’t boil the ocean, so let’s start by bucketizing the deliverables and picking the low-hanging fruit.”

Unsucked: “We can’t waste time, so let’s prioritize what we can easily accomplish.”

More corporate argot defanged for your amusement and dismay:

Bubble up: Tell someone with more authority.

Bucketize: Sort into categories.

Deep dive: Focus on or explore details.

EOD: End of the workday.

Foils: Slides.

Long pole in the tent: The most difficult task. The hard part, ahem.

Net-net: In summary.

Open the kimono: Share information. Reveal.

Solutioneering: Thinking.

Mule Design, in addition to doing kickass work, also has a kickass work ethic that makes me want to stand up and salute. Here’s how co-founder Erika Hall describes it.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.