Lingua Franca


Frank Lingua, president and CEO of Dissembling Associates, is the nation's leading purveyor of buzzwords, catch phrases and clichés for people too busy to speak in plain English.

Q: Is being a cliché expert a full-time job?
Lingua: Bottom line is I have a full plate 24/7.

Q: Is it hard to keep up with the seemingly endless supply of clichés that spew from business?
Lingua: Some days, I don't have the bandwidth. It's like drinking from a fire hydrant.

Q: So it's difficult?
Lingua: Harder than nailing Jell-O to the wall. That's why I have to circle back to partner and expose the key learnings.

Q: Where do most clichés come from?
Lingua: Stakeholders push the envelope until it's outside the box.

Q: How do you track them once they've been coined?
Lingua: It's like herding cats.

Q: Can you predict whether a phrase is going to become a cliché?
Lingua: Yes. I skate to where the puck's going to be. Because if you aren't the lead dog, you're not providing a customer-centric proactive solution.

Q: Give us a new buzzword that we'll be hearing.
Lingua: "Enronitis" could be a next-generation player. I also like "criticality."

Q: Do people understand your role as a cliché expert?
Lingua: No, they can't get their arms around that. But they aren't incented to.

Q: How do people know you're a cliché expert?
Lingua: I walk the walk and talk the talk.

Q: Did incomprehensibility come naturally to you?
Lingua: I wasn't wired that way, but it became mission-critical as I strategically focused on my go-forward plan.

Q: What did you do to develop this talent?
Lingua: When you drill down to the granular level, it's just basic blocking and tackling.

Q: How do you know if you're successful in your work?
Lingua: At the end of the day, it's all about robust, world-class language solutions being sourced from multiple dynamics.

Q: How do you stay ahead of others in the buzzword industry?
Lingua: Net-net, my value proposition is based on maximizing synergies and being first to market with a leveraged, value-added deliverable. That's the opportunity space on a level playing field.

Q: Does everyone in business eventually devolve into the sort of mindless drivel you spout?
Lingua: If you walk like a duck and talk like a duck, you're a duck. They all drink the Kool-Aid.

Q: Do you read "Dilbert" in the newspaper?
Lingua: My knowledge base is deselective of fiber media.

Q: Does that mean "no"?
Lingua: Negative. Our research shows your consumer mindset is tilting on a negative axis. Let's circle back and discuss this offline.

Q: What?
Lingua: You have a result-driven mind-set that isn't a strategic fit with the game plan.

Q: How can you live with yourself?
Lingua: I eat my own dog food. My vision is to monetize scalable Supply chains.

Q: When are you going to quit this?
Lingua: I may eventually exit the business to pursue other career opportunities.

Q: I hate you.
Lingua: Take it and run with it...