The Haught guide to “moving forward”
Moved to tears
While working in an office job, I once lost my bearings and blundered into the wrong meeting room.
The abhorrence I observed taking place inside filled me with a liquid disgust (not unlike the stuff that gets wrung out of the sponge in that famous anti-smoking ad).
It was a “moving forward” orgy: men and women, old and young, executives and dogsbodies – all going at it hammer and tongs – “moving forward” like it was going out of fashion. Which, it turns out, it wasn’t.
“Moving forward” (aka “going forward”) seems as popular today as when it first burst on to the corporate scene like an alien out of an unimportant character’s chest (but which, instead of scuttling away to shelter among cargo crates, brazenly paraded around the galley like it owned the joint, asking crew members if it could top up their drinks, gastric juice still dripping from its grotesque snout).
At the linguistic debauch in question, people were inserting “moving forward” into the most unlikely (and obscene) of syntactic places. At one point a woman used it six times in a single, epic and ultimately meaningless sentence.
Before I lurched back into the corridor to let my lunch spew forth, I witnessed a woman attempt to take a sip of water and childishly bubble the words into her glass.
What began life as a pathetically contrived attempt to inject the idea of “progress” into a statement is today like a 13-character piece of multipurpose management-speak punctuation. A full stop, a comma, one of those upside-down Spanish exclamation marks that begin sentences, all rolled into one.
It should be eradicated, in the manner of smallpox.
This article originally appeared in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. You can read the latest column every Saturday in the MyCareer section.
The Grape Men quote of the day:
Grape Man 1: “De de de. Decore. De de. Decore. De de. Decore. De de -“
Grape Man 2: “You sing some stupid songs in your times, but this is right up there with the worst. What is this bullshits?”
Grape Man 1: “This is shampoo ad jingle from late 80s and early 90s. You show some fuck respect. This is classic Australiana, you ignorant fuck.”
Grape Man 2: “It bullshits. That what it is.”
Grape Man 3: “Now do YoGo jingle circa 1990.”
Grape Man 1: “Um. You testings me here. Um. You can YoGo anywhere you go/You can YoGo when it hot/You can YoGo when it lunchtimes/You can YoGo when it not.”
Grape Man 3: “Bravissima! Tu sei un fottuto genio!”
Grape Man 2: “That actually pretty good. I giving that to you, you stupid fuck.”