Bill Ricker points me to this blog from Mark Liberman on whether (and how much) managers are more likely to use management jargon. Or, to be more precise, whether knowing that someone uses management jargon in their speech gives you information on how likely they are to be a manager. The motivation was this quote from Peter Taylor:
I [Peter Taylor] argue that the first question to ask is whether hearing someone use the phrase “At the end of the day” conveys information on whether they are likely to be a manager…
Much Bayesian inference follows. My only comment here is not on the Bayesian inference but rather on the idea that “managers” are dweeby Dilbert characters who talk using management jargon. I was thinking about it, and I realized that I’m a manager. I manage projects, hire people, etc. But of course I don’t usually think of myself as a “manager” since that’s considered a bad thing to be.
For another example, Liberman considers a “spokesperson for a manufacturer of sex toys” as a manager. I don’t know what this person does, but I wouldn’t usually think of a spokesperson as a manager at all.
To me, the most interesting linguistic phenomenon here is the floating definition of “manager.”
P.S. Lots and lots and lots of discussion here. Somehow I think that Mark Liberman gets a lot more readers on his blog than I do on mine!