Business English Expression (2)
Posted by Wahyudi English on March 26, 2008
“24/7” is another way of saying “all the time” or continuous. Literally, it means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A business may use the term to express they are always open for business. For example, “we are open 24/7.” An individual may say, “I work 24/7” as a way of expressing that they work all the time.
“Talk is Cheap”
We mentioned ‘talk is cheap” in an earlier segment entitled “Show me the money.” This expression is used when referring to people who talk alot about doing things but never really do much. In other words, they do not have much of a record of accomplishment. It is always used to refer to people who make empty promises. Empty promises are promises to do something but there is no intention to carry out the promise. So “talk is cheap” means that it is easy to talk about things, but more difficult to do something about it, whether that something is keeping a promise or taking appropriate action.
“Cash is king,” “Cash is trash”
These two expressions mean exactly the opposite. You will often hear them when talking about financial investments. When the stock market is declining, investors want to preserve their cash so stocks are sold and cash is held in their portfolio. Since cash does not generally lose value except to inflation, then “cash is king” in a down stock market. However, in a rising stock market or in inflationary times, investors can make more money by investing their cash in stocks and bonds. Investors lose by holding cash in their portfolio because of the lost opportunity from rising stocks or the loss of purchasing power from inflation. Investors refer to cash as trash in this scenario.
Purchasing power is a concept that expresses the true value of currency. Currency by itself has no value. The value comes from how much one can buy with the currency. If a currency can buy more today than in the past, then purchasing power has increased. If a currency can buy less today than in the past, then the purchasing power of that currency has decreased. As an example, the US Dollar has lost one-third of its purchasing power or value since early 2001. As a result, US goods are cheaper abroad while imported goods are more expensive in the US.
“Show me the money”
“Show me the money” was popularized by the movie Jerry McGuire in 1990s. The expression is used to mean that someone wants proof of financial support for the project or proof that the project is profitable. People living in the state of Missouri in the United States call themselves the “show me” state, because they don’t always believe what they hear. They want to see evidence that something is happening or has happened. “Show me the money” is another way of saying “talk is cheap.” In other words, anyone can talk about things, but not everyone does something about it. The individual making the statement “show me the money” wants to see action or progress.
“Make it happen”
In a general sense, “Make it happen” means to take immediate action now or very soon. It may be used as a directive from the superior to a subordinate. The phrase may be either positive or negative, depending on the tone and circumstances in which it is used. For example, if the superior is expressing disappointment that a project has not already been completed, then the sentence “I want you to make it happen now” expresses dissatisfaction and urgency for the subordinate to correct the situation. However, it can also be used in a positive sense to build team work. For example, after planning a project, the superior or team leader may say to the individual or team “We can make it happen!” Used in this way the expression conveys confidence in the team and a sense of group unity. Other variations of the expression are “making it happen” and “lets make it happen.”
“Cut your losses”
“Cut your losses” generally refers to getting out of financial investments that are losing money. It means to take some action to stop losing money. Sometimes cutting your losses involves getting out of the investments such as selling the stock investment or closing the business. Other times, it means to protect your investment from any further losses by hedging. In a business environment, it may be used to refer to divesting or selling off a product line that does not produce a profit. In general society, “cutting your losses” means getting out of a bad decision of any kind. Usually it involves the lesser of two alternatives. To stay with the decision means to continue losing. To get out of the decision, means to accept the current loss. Both are difficult decisions.