After covering business for 20 years, layoffs have become a sad and all-too familiar story line.

Businesses often try to sugarcoat layoffs by using meaningless buzzwords that are allegedly more benign. I recall one PR woman insisting that I use the word “rede-employment” (my spell checker’s going whacko there) to describe layoffs. (It would sort of make sense saying someone was de-employed. But re-de-employed? That would indicate someone was re-employed after being de-employed.)

Anyway. Two stalwart businesses with deep Minnesota roots, Boston Scientific and Medtronic, are letting people go. Some of their core businesses are slumping -- and this is the way businesses handle slumps. This week, Boston Scientific confirmed that affected employees received notice that they were being laid off.

The Natick, Mass.-based company had said earlier this year that it would cut 1,000 to 1,300 people from its 25,000-person workforce worldwide. Yet Boston Sci officials won’t say how many people will lose their jobs in Minnesota, where it employs about 5,000 in Maple Grove, Arden Hills and Plymouth.

Fridley-based Medtronic, meanwhile, said it would cut up to 2,000 jobs worldwide but it, too, wouldn’t quantify the cuts locally.

Janet Moore covers medical technology for the Star Tribune.