(FORTUNE Magazine) -- In life the strong survive. The weak pay taxes. And that, perhaps, is why the bracket is such a seductive means of portraying existence, and not just during March Madness. We begin with a slew of contenders. One fight at a time, a victor emerges from the matchup. Soon there are but eight & then a final four & then but two who must fight for the pinnacle of power held only by he or she or it who had the force, the smarts, the pluck to beat back all comers. Ah, sweet victory! Here is just one such contest chronicled in the new book The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything. This one is a donnybrook of business-speak compiled by our very own Stanley Bing.
RAMPING IT UP
SPENDING MORE TIME WITH FAMILY
LET'S TALK OFFLINE
SHARING BEST PRACTICES
SCRUBBING THE NUMBERS GOING GRANULAR
OFF THE RESERVATION
MOVING THE CHEESE
COVER YOUR ASS
ON THE SAME PAGE
"Spending more time with family" might elicit a grin from those who know the true character of a once-respected corporate personage who has been cashiered, but it has a poignant ring to it--and works by suspending disbelief. Aviation metaphors (also "flying in tighter circles") have crashed and burned.
"OIBITDA" (operating income before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) distills the major themes of a career in gorgeous opacity: As the yardstick for com-municating cash generation, it is, in short, the money we make, what we live for, the stuff of which bonuses are made.
"Let's talk offline," i.e., have a private conversation, is redundant; it's a phrase for which there is no need except to convey more sophistication than you possess.
"Positioning" is the newer, vaguer "leverage." Like its progenitor, it sounds intelligent, no matter how profoundly empty or stupid it may be. Utilitarian "excellence" cannot compete.