One of the most over-used expressions at the moment in the US is ‘reaching out’ as in ‘thank you for reaching out to us’. I guess it means making contact. It carries more perceived weight than ‘thank you for contacting us’ as it implies some kind of herculean effort to ‘reach out’. The Four Tops hit was ‘Reach out and I’ll be there’ which might be the origin of the saying today.
I hate jargon and I am particularly twitchy about American jargon because my code-breaking mechanism isn’t wired to deal with the complexities of American speech. It can cause a great deal of confusion as this taped conversation between David Cameron and Barack Obama confirms.
BO: “Thank you for reaching out to us on this eurozone crisis. From our lighthouse position it looks like a burning platform.”
DC: “Jolly good Mr. President, what would be your advice?”
BO: “Well Dave sounds like the Greeks have been drinking the Kool-Aid, time they woke up and smelt the coffee.”
DC: “Quite, just what I was saying to Mrs. Merkel.”
BO: “It’s all about peeling the onion and time to boil the ocean. The Greeks, Spanish and Italians need to move the needle and push the envelope.”
DC: “Yes all of those things would be tickety boo.”
BO: “Never be afraid to open the kimono and find the bleeding edge Dave.”
DC: “Couldn’t agree more old chap, I’ll pass the advice on to George.”
BO: “Excellent Dave, glad we had this telcon, I need to reach out now and share my thoughts with Mr Holland in Paris. Why is he called Holland when he is French by the way? Stay tuned.”