Tamsin Constable

‘Optics’ – pioneer a new business buzzword!

Here’s a chance to pioneer a new corporate buzzword. See whether you can be the first to introduce a hot new political word, ‘optics’, into business – an internal business email, for example. The game here is to see how long it takes for someone to echo it back to you.

Like many of the ridiculous words that seep into business, this one has its roots in a very different context; in this case, the conflict in Libya, as today’s Guardian points out.

It is, apparently, political shorthand for ‘public perception.’ As in, “the emotional optics of cruise missiles raining down, backed by coalition military briefings, [have] unwelcome echoes of Iraq”.

Or, put plainly, ‘Folk won’t like it’.

So you could, for example, write ‘If we raise our prices, the optics of the situation could lose us business. ’ Or ‘What would the optics be if we put less chocolate in a bar but charge the same?’

You get the idea.

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