Bottoms Up!

In this week’s complaint about mis-applied cliches, I’ll just say that if you’re giving a presentation about the rollout of a new company-wide, synergistic website system and you want to point out how all the changes were driven by the hoi-polloi of the corporation rather than imposed by the suits in the corner offices, the term is “bottom-up” (the opposite of “top-down”), not “bottoms up” (the opposite of “not drinking”).

A figure, which I assume took hours of careful thought, used to explain bottom-up in a marketing sense

The term “bottom-up” is a bit trendy, having started, I believe, in the programming world before being appropriated, as so many things from the programming world are, by MBAs.






“Bottoms up”, of course, has a much older and nobler pedigree.  It primarily involves drinking, naturally, but the phrase has a nicely salacious flavor to it as well.  All of which means that if you use it during a marketing presentation I may giggle.  I present this as a public service, since given the aforementioned trendiness of the non-pluralized version I see a lot of potential for confusion.

~ by smwilliams on July 17, 2012.

2 Responses to “Bottoms Up!”

  1. Oh! This is a wonderful topic! You should do a series of these.

    I love cliches. It takes a mountain of negative feedback to make me not use ’em. 😀

    But, I never thought I could get them wrong. I don’t think I have ever confused ‘bottom-up’ vs ‘bottoms up”, but I’m not sure…

    • A series, you say? I can talk about mis-applied cliches all day long, because for some reason they drive me up the writing on the wall. I suppose two posts isn’t really a series, but I’m doing better on this than on the series about allegory in 16th-century engravings you suggested.

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