The best of the worst business words

Last week, the venerable CBC News posted a funny and cringe worthy story, “The most painfully annoying business jargon”.  It’s a summary of some of the worst words and phrases that we use in business today.  Among my most favourite (or is it least favourite?) are:  “full service”, “circle back” and “learning” used as a noun.  Shudder!

After an unscientific poll with my colleagues of some other choice words that are overexposed and have lost all relevance (aka the Tiger Woods Syndrome):

  • touch base
  • at the end of the day…
  • economic downturn (the phrase formerly known as “recession”)
  • leading edge
  • “tomorrow’s (insert word such as leaders, talent system, etc.)”

I just remembered that I few years ago I received a magical gift from a coworker called Human Resources Bingo; definitely not recommended reading for the HR pro that takes themselves seriously.  C’mon, when you see words in there that you know you overuse, doesn’t it make you smile, just a little bit?  Hey – hold the phone- “metrics” is one of the words listed!  Where is the contact information on the website so I can give some constructive feedback?!?!!

I digress… what other jargon would you recommend for this list?

*The Fine Print:  Thanks to my coworker Kyla for making full use of her email fwd function by not only tipping me off with this story but also giving me some of her most favourite hated words.
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2 Responses

  1. I enjoyed this … a couple others for the list:
    – Leverage
    – So-and-so’s world (everyone has a world, eh?!)

  2. Great list!

    One phrase I find irritating is “Make it happen”…..seems most execs will use it to *sound* empowering but they don’t actually empower the employee with resources to “git er done”.

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