Customers have the ultimate control of their use of energy.... We will work hard to restrain these costs going forward. And we need our customers to help us by using energy as efficiently as possible [Mike McDowell, "Electric Rates Are Increasing Across the Nation," HCPDBlog, 2010.11.12].
Rule #1 of American management-speak: evade responsibility.
Rule#2: Use the phrase going forward.
Going forward (and variations like moving forward) is one of the most superfluous fluff phrases in contemporary English. We're all moving forward through time, every second. McDowell's second sentence above—and every sentence using that phrase not referring to physical movement—would mean exactly the same thing without it. We will work hard to restrain those costs—period.
Going forward doesn't add to our understanding of the actual situation. It is press-release propaganda, inserted to create an impression that the speaker and the speaker's organization are progressive, proactive, forward-looking... and eminently desirous that we stop paying attention to what just happened, like an electric rate hike, the release of your boss's lengthy court record, an uncomfortable suggestion that Sarah Palin might campaign for you, or the President's advocacy for a health care reform bill that you're afraid might cost you votes back home.
Everyone, try word efficiency: drop going forward from your management-speak lexicon.
- The IT folks at TechTarget find going forward good management-speak: "...it means enough to be useful while also being suitably vague."
- Google Rep. Herseth Sandlin's House website for going forward. I get 25 results.
- This Microsoft developer was with me three years ago.
- We can track annoyance with going forward back at least five years... I wonder what management guru started this usage?