Business jargon. Does anyone like it? Well, some people must do, or it wouldn’t exist. But there are some phrases used in business that make your skin crawl and signposts the users as lightweights. Here are a few of my (least) favorite examples.


Low hanging fruit

Okay, we all know that this is another way of saying: pick off the easiest options first rather than tackle the hardest, but really it’s not any more difficult to just say that is it?

Let’s touch base

No, let’s not touch at all, thank you.

Think outside the box

What box? There wasn’t a box until you mentioned one. If you mean “be creative, oruginal, and try to avoid doing what everyone else is already doing” why don’t you just say that? Repeating a tired old phrase like “think outside the box” is a perfect example of what happens when you’re not thinging outside the box. Am I right?

At the end of the day

Do you mean “at night”? No you don’t. You mean something else entirely.

Back to the drawing board

We don’t have drawing boards any more. We have computers. Do you mean we have to go back to the designer’s computer and start with a fresh approach? Or do you actually have an old drawing board hidden in your office somewhere?

Hit the ground running

Don’t use this tired old line or you may have to start running for real. From me.

I don’t have the bandwidth

What? Really, what the hell are you saying here? If you’re busy just say so.

Ping me

You mean with an elastic band? From across the room? Consider it done.

All hands on deck

Really, if you need us all to join in and help you on a task, you just have to ask us. Please stop trying to sound like you’re on the High Seas with pirates on the horizon.

Par for the course

Stop using sporting metaphors. Most of us don’t know that it’s a golfing reference and you are most probably using it in the wrong context anyway. Just stop, you aren’t Tiger Woods.

Just Stop Using Business Jargon

There is too much of it to list, and frankly to try would be as pointless as using it. If you want to be taken seriously in business, drop the jargon. It’s a sign of a lazy and lightweight mind and everyone around you knows it. Except your pals who also use it. Instead, think about the words you use a little more. Talk directly to people using plain and simple language. It will get you more respect and help you stand out from all the wannabe exceutives who think that talking in business jargon cliches makes them look more important than they are. Just stop.


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