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BOB'S BLOG: Going forward – puh-leeze!

By Bob Wood
May 26, 2014 - 0 comments

My wife screams every time she hears the term “going forward.”

What does it mean, she says?   

Good question, I affirm, always eager to please.   

“Going forward” tacked on to the end of a sentence does nothing to enhance the meaning of what the speaker is trying to convey.  Not as far as she can see.  Me too.

I figure, though, the first time someone exercised the option of “going forward” at the end of a sentence, smart people must have nodded their heads sagely and uttered a profundity like, “Indeed!”

Or, perhaps the response was more enthusiastic.  “Right on.” Or maybe, “Right on, sister.”’  Although it is hard to imagine a woman coining such a useless phrase as “going forward.”  I mean is there really enough time in the day for most level-headed, hard-working types to worry about “going forward?”

Readers!  Could be I’ve got it all wrong.  Is it just my helpmate and her befuddled life partner who have issues with apparent useless phrases?

Years ago, a colleague urged our working group to “think outside of the box.” I was immediately hooked.  Thinking outside of that box I’d been in became my new modus operandi.   I thought outside of the box at work, while preparing meals (with uneven results to be sure) and even found that the addition of an afternoon nap afforded more opportunities for me to be out of the box, thinking.

All this was fine, for a time.  Then the need for a “paradigm shift” became apparent.  And that same guy who championed “out of the box” thinking was now calling for my paradigm to shift.

And so it goes.

What’s next, moving forward, as they say?

Bob Wood is a housing and poverty advocate and former two-term Burlington City Councillor who has built a bed-and-breakfast with his wife on Lake Erie. 


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