has the following tag wiki:

There are very many specialized terms and communication conventions related to doing business in English. This tag covers questions about those topics, including any of the following:

  • The meaning of a specialized term used in management, commerce, or industry
  • Whether a given word or idiom has an appropriate level of formality for use in business communication
  • Whether a piece of industry jargon is likely to be understood by members of the general public

Questions in this tag should generally involve terms that are used across multiple companies and industries. Questions about jargon that's specific to a particular company or a single narrow specialization are likely to be closed as "too localized".

The portion "Whether a given word or idiom has an appropriate level of formality for use in business communication" seems to concern using language that is formal, and I assume prescriptively correct, English. I can see near-fluent learners of English wanting to use this to know how to look professional.

But the other portions of the wiki, about jargon, seem to cover "business-speak", which includes some heavily criticised practises including the nouning of a large number of verbs and some controversial metaphors.

Does business-speak belong in the tag business-language?

  • 1
    I tried coming up with a business-speak title for this, but the only one I could think of was "Can we be open kimono about [business-language]?", which is a little gross.
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 11, 2016 at 10:08
  • 5
    I would prefer not to answer "is this email to my boss formal enough?" questions at all. They're subjective (aka POB), localized (who knows your boss and workplace environment?), and if we let them in they'll absolutely litter the site. Further, a vast swath of such questions which are asked are based on false premises, as many non-native speakers misconstrue contemporary Western business culture and believe it to be much more formal and explicitly hierarchical than it actually is.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 11, 2016 at 10:36
  • 1
    Is this a Meta question or are you using the tag as a metaphor? Apr 16, 2016 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


I take your reference to 'business-speak' to be limited to those instances that have gained broad acceptance.

Unlike the questions about email that Dan Bron's comment refers to, which are off topic on opinion or proofreading grounds, questions about 'business-speak' are about established English terms. Also, unlike some lit. crit., where meaning is subjective, 'business-speak' terminology must have established meaning, or else they would have already failed as 'business-speak'.

'Business-speak' should therefore be treated as figures of speech, or at least granted the same courtesies as questions about region-specific turns of phrase.

Does business-speak belong in the tag business-language?

Yes, it does. There's no prohibition against politely stating one's disagreement with the aesthetics or otherwise of such terms, though.

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