hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

March 24, 2005

Cease & Desist: Blocking & Tackling

Dear Sirs & Madames,

Re: Use of the phrase "BLOCKING & TACKLING" to describe roles in a organization

It has come to our attention that you have made a (rather bad and annoying) habit of using the phrase "BLOCKING & TACKLING" to describe roles in the organization, as if it were a sporting event in which you were all participants. For example, the "I will handle the strategic stuff. Bob will handle the blocking & tackling."

Our primary issues with your use of this phrase in a business setting are as follows:

1. Even if, at some point, the employee you describe possessed the ability to physically or analogously "block" or "tackle" another individual or problem, he or she has long lost the ability to do so, today. Asking them to perform this function, especially if they previously had the ability to do so, is demeaning and rude.

2. You have continually used the word as a means of describing a way to "move things forward" or "achieve an end goal." Blocking and tackling prevent progress. They are defensive postures. They do not move things forward. In fact, they often move things backward.

You have 24 HOURS to remove the offending language from corporate literature, Web pages, internal email, instant messages, meetings, conversations, and urinal/restroom banter. Please confirm in writing that you have done so.

Failing this, we will apply for an injunction, and will also seek to recover costs and damages (plus interest) for your tortious and torturous acts and conduct.

This is our final communication to you on this matter. We look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency and sanity.

Those concerned about the English language

cc: The Oxford English Dictionary, Webster's Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk, White, NFL, NCAA


Cease & Desist: Blocking & Tackling
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