Words & Phrases to Never Use in Business. Ever.

Words & Phrases to Never Use in Business. Ever.

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  1. Paradigm (or its disturbingly good-looking cousin, Paradigm Shift). Suggests something big is happening but you don’t know what.
  2. Transparency. Usually only used in the absence of said transparency.
  3. Game-changing. Just a stupid thing to say.
  4. Messaging. If you need to deliver messaging, what you just did isn’t simple or smart enough.
  5. ROI, etc. Rampant use of acronyms implies you don’t have time to waste, but you’re wasting it right now by reading this awesome, highly derivative blog post.
  6. Double-Down. Gambling with shareholders’ money? Great call (sarcasm alert). Leave the Vegas terminology to Swingers and consultants. And never hire consultants.
  7. Innovation. Code for “catch-up”.
  8. Warm Regards. Simply creepy.
  9. Synergy. The granddaddy of all meaningless business words—there is no suitable synonym either, probably because the definition is “phantom value creation”. Hey, PVC—I just invented a new business acronym! Patent pending.

You get bonus points for avoiding these platitudes if you’ve been to business school, the fertile crescent of terrifyingly vapid jargon.

Full disclosure: I’m in business, went to business school, and occasionally use these words & phrases. On some days we’re just soggy driftwood, feebly fighting the tide of workplace inanity.

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5 thoughts on “Words & Phrases to Never Use in Business. Ever.

  1. how about:
    “going forward”
    “mission critical”
    “reach out”
    “touch base”
    “circle back”
    “listen jim, i know i had dinner over at your house last week, but i will smack the shit out of you if you ever talk over me in a meeting again”

  2. “On-boarding”. We in HR were totally fine with “new hire orientation”, but some genius had to make it sound like water-boarding, but less ominous.

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