The Business Buzzwords That Should be Banned


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There is a particular calibre of business buzzwords and phrases that (at best) make us all inwardly cringe and (at worst) are so misused that they are now completely devoid of all meaning. So, let’s celebrate their ridiculousness one last time before we bury them where they belong. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all suffered enough.

A positive company culture is, of course, of the utmost importance. But do you know what else is? Context. Peppering every sentence you utter with the c-word does not a happy workforce make. Enough! As Xero’s Andy Lark would say, if culture has to be mentioned endlessly in meetings, you probably haven’t got a good one down pat.

Less-annoying alternative
“Hey, this office has a really [INSERT APPROPRIATE POSITIVE ADJECTIVE HERE] vibe.”

“S.W.A.T Team”
Unless you are actually deploying an elite team of marksmen to fix your problem, then you really need to stop uttering the phrase, “Let’s send in the S.W.A.T team.” We also deduct points for adding ASAP at the end.

Less-annoying alternative
“The printer’s broken again. Should I see if Dave from IT can take a look?”

“Snackable content”
This is marketing-speak for fast, attention-grabbing content. Alternatives include “bitesize content” or “digestible content.” In our humble opinion, piquing our interest with the word “snack” only to follow it up with “content” is just cruel.

Less-annoying alternative
“We have approximately 1.2 seconds before we lose people’s interest – let’s make it count, team.”

“Creative juices”
Nope. Just nope. Any turn of phrase that makes us think of your bodily fluids should be taken off the table, folks.

Less-annoying alternative
“It’s time to fire up our imaginations, people!”

“Big data”
Ooooh, big scary data! So important! Oh wait, no. It’s just an annoying phrase to describe the same old data marketers have always used. As you were!

Less-annoying alternative
“I’m just going to sit here and analyse a bunch of data, don’t mind me.”

“Close the loop”
It’s not the phrase per se that’s so irksome, it’s more the sentiment.

Less-annoying alternative
“I’m going to delegate you a task that I don’t want to do myself. Let me know when you’ve done it. That cool? P.S. Do it now.”

Stop it. Not only are you embarrassing yourself by using a pretentious word when any number of others (see below) would suffice, you’re making us look like fools by offering us no other alternative than to nod in agreement with your insufferable management speak.

Less-annoying alternative
“Should we collaborate on this as a team?”

“The Internet of Things”
Look, we’re not against the concept (which, on a very basic level, describes the interconnection of our devices – or something), but we do object to it being used as a weapon to promote confusion.

Less-annoying alternative
“I’m about to wax lyrical on a subject I don’t fully understand, but am confident I know more than you. Humour me, OK?”

“Growth hacking”
Part of this phrase’s (un)appeal is that no-one really knows what it means (something about business development or marketing, perhaps?), so the ostentatious among us can toss it around freely without fear of ever being questioned.

Less-annoying alternative
“Get ready, I’m about to dazzle you with my business knowledge.”

WHY do we have to over-complicate everything, though? Isn’t life hard enough?

Less-annoying alternative
“Hey, are you free for a quick brainstorm about [INSERT SUBJECT MATTER]?”

“The Uber of…”
If we had a dollar for every time we heard the phrase, “This new app is the Uber of…’.

Less-annoying alternative
‘Have you heard of [INSERT NAME OF APP]? It’s so cool, it’s like [INSERT DESCRIPTION OF APP AVOIDING WORD ‘UBER’]’


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