The worst business jargon…

What’s your pick?

Citing the obvious …

“Business jargon is so ubiquitous and most everyone is guilty of using it, yet it’s also pretty widely disliked.”

As a public service, a couple of Fast Company editors “whittled an extensive lexicon of bad office jargon down to 16 widely used terms and phrases.”

Pick your favorite from their Top 16 list:

  1. Alignment
  2. Bandwidth
  3. Blue sky (ideas)
  4. Boots on the ground
  5. Circle back
  6. Disrupt
  7. Double click (on an idea)
  8. Empower
  9. Growth hacking
  10. Leverage
  11. Low hanging fruit
  12. Move the needle
  13. Synergy
  14. Take it offline
  15. Think outside the box
  16. Thought leadership


To pick the worst of the worst, the East Company editors opined:

    • Some terms like “thought leader” and “empower” struck a more irritating nerve with us because we see them overused in pitches.
    • Others like “boots on the ground,” “double click,” and “growth hacking” aren’t ones that we have personally encountered in our daily office life, they are annoying for their connotations and sound.
    • Some like “circle back” and “move the needle” may be tired and overused, but serve as a useful and concise way to convey meaning.
    • Others, like “synergy” and “disrupt” have been used so much they feel dated and meaningless.

Their winner: the oldie, but not goody: SYNERGY … the prospects of  growing businesses and cutting costs by combining organizations.  Too often,, those benefits are “pie in the sky” and aren’t realized.

Oops, did I just add more jargon to the list?


P.S. I’d also add to the list “reimagine” and “root causes” .. to me, these terms connote “don’t expect anything to actually happen”.

What would you add to the list?

One Response to “The worst business jargon…”

  1. Chris Wargo Says:

    “Um”, “uh”, etc as verbal tics while public speaking have been replaced with “right?”. So you’ll hear someone say the “right?” dozens of times during a presentation, and routinely throughout any conference room discussion. The only defense against the onslaught is not to treat it as a rhetorical question and interrupt them by answering their question – 50+ times per hour….

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