The ten most annoying business buzzwords

Editorial team
AccountingWEB.co.uk
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The workplace is awash with cliches and meaningless jargon. Our US colleagues at AccountingWEB.com pinpoint a few of the worst offenders.

The workplace is overwrought with cliches, buzzwords and industry jargon, often leading to a 'disconnect' between coworkers (i.e. you have no idea what they're saying, but you nod and smile anyway). 'Viral' terms and phrases like these are among the most overused in the office, according to a recent Accountemps survey.

In a poll of 150 senior US executives from the country's 1,000 largest companies, executives were asked, "What is the most annoying or overused phrase or buzzword in the workplace today?" Their responses included:

  • Leverage: As in, 'we intend to leverage our investment in IT infrastr...

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By Anonymous
27th Nov 2009 13:49

Buzzwords

Where is "proactive".

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By Anonymous
27th Nov 2009 14:43

Pink giraffe

My boss and I decided constant reference to the recession or downturn was depressing and now refer to the current pink giraffe.

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By sluglet
27th Nov 2009 16:53

Going Forward

Surely the most irritating and nonsensical phrase is when people talk about their budgets "going forward". Has anybody ever come across someone doing a budget going backward??

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27th Nov 2009 17:22

Turning Life On Its Head

Great point Sluglet

I have a theory that things where the opposite would never be said or seen don't need saying.  These things are only said or written for reasons of CYA.

This applies particularly to signs.  When would you ever see "Danger - Thick Ice", "Caution - The Water In This Hot Tap Is Cold" or "For Goodness Sake Don't Wash Your Hands After Using The Toilet"?

David

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By sluglet
30th Nov 2009 11:56

Robust!!! It's probably used more by politicians than businessmen. But, to be honest if I hear one more person talking about having "robust" policies in place I think I might have to give them a "robust" punch on the nose!

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30th Nov 2009 13:53
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30th Nov 2009 14:22

Thks

Trev

Gr8 ansr. YRU sooo p..d? :-} B4 U rply, LOL!

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By Anonymous
01st Dec 2009 10:25

#David Winch

You teenager you.

I've recently come across a new piece of jargon that I fear will catch on - therefore I'll end up grinding my teeth when I hear it.

It's 'swimming lane' as in 'the organisation works very much in swimming lanes' or 'he's tends to kep to his own swimming lane'. Don't ask me what it means. Its only merit is that it can be usefully combined with other annoying metaphors such as 'out of his depth' and 'going off the high board'.

 

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