The Mozilla Foundation, the people behind the wildly successful open-source browser Firefox, is spinning off a for-profit corporation.
The first sign? They’re using a particular phrase in no less than five of their FAQs: “going forward“. As in, “in the future.”
That phrase must die.
If you’re writing a speech, or a news release, or a proposal, or an annual report, or a prospectus, and you find your fingers reaching for the keys that spell the phrase “going forward”, please — for the love of communications and the glorious human achievement of language — please stop.
If you find yourself about to say “going forward” in a meeting, stop. Drink some water. Have a mint. Anything to keep your mouth occupied while your brain catches up and activates its all-important cringe centre.
Because you almost never need to say “going forward.” It’s assumed. We’re all going forward, and all at the same speed: one. second. at a. time.
It’s a verbal tic, a mildly less annoying way of saying, “Incidentally, I’m aware that I’m currently in a business setting and discussing business things and therefore using business buzzwords.” It’s semantic farting. It’s the visible thong of communication. Please, if you’re an offender, stop it.
Just take the risk that people will think you’re proposing that your company or organization moves backward in time. Or, if you need to be absolutely clear, use the future tense. That’s what it was invented for, back in 1533, during a brief but fruitful era that came to be known as The Clubbing of Those Who Say “Verily Goeth We Forward, Anon”.
“Going Forward” FAQ
Q. Which is worse, “proactive” or “going forward”?
A. “Going forward.” It contains three useless syllables to proactive’s one. Take off the “pro”, and you actually have some meaning.
Q. But saying “going forward” makes me look cool. All the other kids are doing it.
A. If the other kids were talking about monetizing use cases, would you talk about monetizing use cases too?
Q. I think about little else.
A. Get the hell out of here. G’wan, get.