From inexperienced interns to boardroom legends, everyone uses one of these annoying business buzzwords occasionally.
Back in the day, whenever I learned a new corporate buzzword, I would drop it at every opportunity I saw. It was my way of projecting that I’m a grownup and one step ahead of the rest of the interns. I wanted my supervisor to like me, and also to exclude the rest of the interns from our conversations.
It took a few years to realize that language shouldn’t be used to exclude people from your conversations. There were no low-hanging fruits.
Annoying Business Buzzwords, You know, For the Optics
Most of these phrases are euphemisms and are handy when you need to dress up otherwise meaningless tasks with nicer phrases. Read ahead and find out the most annoying business buzzwords.
1. New normal
What it means: This is an annoying way of reminding people of what we’ve been through since the Pandemic.
Why do we hate it? Let’s just get on with our lives without mincing words.
Imagine the most popular word you heard in 2020 if you close your eyes. “New normal” has a decent chance of topping that list! It is the most annoying corporate buzzword of all time!
The “new normal” refers to the state of the world and how we expect it to be, after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, However, in recent months, the definition of the “new normal” has become murky.
What it means: A lack of vision, perhaps.
Why do we hate it? Sometimes it ends with people losing their jobs.
Synergy is the concept that when two or more organizations, substances, or agents work together, they can achieve a greater result. When more entities work together, the result is better than when they work alone. This is why “synergy” is so prevalent in today’s corporate world. But it’s also the most overused (and annoying) corporate buzzwords that needs to get eliminated from our collective vocabulary.
3. Take this offline
What it means: “We are never discussing this again.”
Why do we hate it? What’s wrong with a little honesty?
Now when we are all accustomed to working online, the term “take this offline” seems strange. However, many people still use it and it usually makes no sense. You can hear your boss say “take this offline” when he wants to have an individual online call with you instead of a group call.
You still use the Zoom or Slack communication tools and you are still online. This buzzword gained in popularity before the pandemic, and the chances are that it’s here to stay. It is impossible to “take this offline” when you are still online, right?
4. Think outside the box
What it means: “Why don’t we try another route that doesn’t need so much investment/resources?” It also means that we’ve supposed to do what we’ve been doing for years. We are not open for innovation yet.
Why do we hate it? You’ll see confused stares when you use this corporate lingo. Sometimes you don’t need to sugarcoat your words.
This is one of the most annoying marketing buzzwords that we have had recently. It explains that we should think outside of the box, which means a new way of thinking about some subjects. We should clarify first what the term “box” actually means and what we should think if we do not think “inside the box.”
There are so many misunderstandings when you say that someone should “think outside the box” and that is why this buzzword is so annoying. We should definitely stop using it.
5. Circle Back
What it means: When your manager tells you he or she will “circle back” on an issue, it means it is to be discussed later.
Why do we hate it? We’re doing to park this question for now.
Whoever invented this business buzzword clearly wanted to show off their knowledge. Well, I hate to say it. If you are caught using this annoying corporate lingo, you may come across as pompous. Once you cross this bridge, there’s no coming back.
According to the Preply survey, 69 percent of respondents claimed buzzwords in job ads influenced their decision to apply for a job, and one in five said they’d opted not to apply for a position because of one or more particularly annoying business buzzwords.
One should avoid using the above-mentioned corporate buzzwords in your professional vocabulary. Not only will this help you bridge the gap between you and your peers, but it will also help you enhance your workplace communication skills by using clearer and proper language.