Turning nouns into verbs for business purposes is the Death Of A Thousand Cuts to writers and people who care about language. It kills us slowly, cut by cut. Blood drop by blood drop.
I recently heard someone say on a podcast, And when they’re really ready, we’ll handshake them to the investor community.
How do you handshake someone to someone else? What does that mean? Is that even a thing?
Yes, it means to introduce someone. They’re going to introduce people to the investor community.
So why don’t you just say “we’ll introduce them to the investor community?”
Uhh, this way sounds cooler?
No. It doesn’t. It sounds awkward. It sounds like someone tried to come up with some other name to mean the same thing they’re actually trying to say, only they want to say it differently.
I understand the sentiment. You want to introduce people to each other. When they are introduced, they will shake hands. So, you “handshake them” to someone else.
But there was nothing wrong with “introduce” in the first place. You’re taking something that was just fine, in perfect working order, and you improved it.
And by “improved it,” I mean “jumped up and down on it until it was a mangled heap, barely recognizable to even its own mother.”
The problem with business jargon is that people who use it just want to sound cool. They come up with some new term to mean something else.
People talk about “onboarding” when they mean “sign up.”
They “ideate” when they mean “come up with ideas,” or even “think.”
And they say “handshake to” when they mean “introduce.”
Hopefully you’ve never done this yourself. Hopefully you’ve never used “handshake” as a verb, at least when you’re introducing two people. (I understand it’s a term used to describe the way two computers communicate — they “handshake” with each other. But that’s the computer world.)
If you have, I won’t judge. I won’t cast aspersions on your character or demean your language abilities.
But I would ask you to stop it.
On a going forward basis.