Words & Phrases to Never Use in Business. Ever.
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- Paradigm (or its disturbingly good-looking cousin, Paradigm Shift). Suggests something big is happening but you don’t know what.
- Transparency. Usually only used in the absence of said transparency.
- Game-changing. Just a stupid thing to say.
- Messaging. If you need to deliver messaging, what you just did isn’t simple or smart enough.
- 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.
- Double-Down. Gambling with shareholders’ money? Great call (sarcasm alert). Leave the Vegas terminology to Swingers and consultants. And never hire consultants.
- Innovation. Code for “catch-up”.
- Warm Regards. Simply creepy.
- 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.