After hearing this one and "leverage" all day long, I'm starting to wonder how I manage to keep my sanity. "Cthulhu fhtagn" doesn't translate to "Cthulhu waits" or "Cthulhu dreams;" it means "Cthulhu going forward."
What it means:
Going forward [in position] - Progressing in the direction that one is currently facing.
Going forward [in time] - Aging; becoming older
Going forward [in time - in the context of Back to the Future] - Driving at 88 miles/hour
The second definition is more likely to be the original intention of this buzzword.
What my company thinks it means:
N/A (empty phrase used as filler)
Sentence used in my office:
"Going forward, we could leverage our core competencies going forward to drive these efforts to a close, going forward."
This sentence is a grammatical travesty. As before, I swear that I have heard this verbatim in my office.
How this sentence could have been said:
(Fixed - still managerial) "
Going forward, we could leverage our core competencies going forwardto drive these efforts to a close, going forward."
(Fixed - translated to English) "We could use our skills to finish our assignments."
(Fixed - realizing that all assignments are finished using skills) No statement required.
"Going forward" is the most pointless phrase that I've ever heard around the office. Yet, management can't seem to get enough of it. They tack it on at the beginning, end, and sometimes even the middle of a sentence. If you remove all of the times "going forward" was burbled during a meeting, the amount of time people are talking would be cut by 33%. Everything that was said would still make sense, assuming that it made sense in the first place. This is usually not a safe assumption during a corporate meeting.
I know of a manager that says "going forward" so much that he accidentally said it when he meant to say "getting a file," referring to downloading.
My biggest gripe, besides its over-use, is that the phrase "going forward" doesn't even make grammatical sense. It is used as a present participle phrase. (I know that this statement shows that I paid way too much attention in grammar class.) Present participle phrases are primarily used to add pauses to large, multiple-verb sentences which makes them less awkward.
Original sentence 1
We leveraged our core competencies to drive these efforts to a close.
Sentence 1 using a present participle phrase
Leveraging our core competencies, we drove these efforts to a close.
Original sentence 2
Present participle phrases are primarily used to add pauses to large, multiple-verb sentences which makes them less awkward.
Sentence 2 using a present participle phrase
Present participle phrases are primarily used to add pauses to large, multiple-verb sentences,
making them less awkward.
Now let's add a "going forward" to sentence 1.
Sentence 3 using a present participle phrase
Going forward, we leveraged our core competencies to drive these efforts to a close.
Sentence 3 expanded
went forwardto leverage our core competencies to drive these efforts to a close.
What? That doesn't make sense. Maybe I shoved the present participle phrase into the wrong section of the sentence.
Sentence 3 expanded - Attempt 2
We leveraged our core competencies to drive these efforts to a close
to go forward.
So, this means that we used our skills to finish our assignment, and the assignment was to leap into the future. That's actually pretty awesome. I knew that my group was working on a few theoretical problems, but I had no idea that I was helping to develop the flux capacitor.
Using this knowledge, you, too, can laugh whenever you hear this phrase. You can condense entire paragraphs into a single sentence, filtering out bullshit phrases like "going forward." Knowing that I will get email about it in the future, let me state that this buzzword does not make sense as a dangling modifier. Regarding an explanation of dangling modifiers, I will leave that as an exercise for the reader. Reviewing this paragraph, I think that speaking in a language that only uses present participle phrases can drive someone insane, going forward.