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30 stupid business jargon phrases you’ve absolutely got to stop using

(Click here for that gloriously NSFW George Carlin link).

From that aggressively buoyant job ad to your career-change-opportunity-themed redundancy letter, euphemisms abound, and none of them good.

Every day, corporate jargon encroaches further into the English lexicon, and we think it’s time to take a stand.

So reprioritise your current action items; this is the Idealog guide to the worst of the words, the cruddiest of the corporatese and the most awful of the office waffle.

The list:

Action items – A simple ‘to do’ list, but with an air of urgency about it

Bean counter – A term you use when you think you’re cooler than the people in accounts

Coal face – The place where the programmers sit

Decruitment – To fire someone with extreme prejudice

Drilling down – Analysing an employee’s idea in detail sufficient to eventually claim it as your own

Embracing sustainability – To procure a recycling bin

Face time – What happens for two minutes prior to a decruitment

Game changing – The way you describe your product right before you lose all your money

Hot desk – What you call your desk after it’s been taken away

Human capital – The single worst way to describe a human

Imagineer – What someone with an idea for an app calls themselves

Leading edge/bleeding edge – Technology so new and cool it makes you want to evoke swordsmithery

?Learnings – The plural form of a word with no plural form

Leverage – What the Mafia says it’s doing when it’s breaking your fingers/something a lever does

Luddites – Anyone who doesn’t want your app

Meeting stakeholder expectations – Doing as you’re told

Outside the box – The way you describe the thinking behind that idea you stole from Idealog

Peek behind the kimono – A phrase that’s supposed to say ‘this is revealing information’, but in fact says ‘Hey, ladies/I’m that guy/don’t leave your drink unattended’

Putting your feelers out – Posting a work-related request on Facebook

Resonate – To like something

Rightsizing – Downsizing

Salt mines – Where middle managers say they work

Serial Entrepreneur – A person who frequently starts new ventures, regardless of the consequences

Sideways – The direction things go when they go straight down

Skillset – To describe one skill as many

Three-drink lunch – A five-drink lunch

Unpack (an idea) – The preparation you do before you reject an idea

Verbing – What business does to English

Visioneering – What imagineers say they do

With all due respect – The respect you give to someone you don’t respect

Now check out part 2 here.

Jonathan has been a writer longer than he cares to remember. Specialising in technology, the arts, and the grand meaning of it all, in his spare time he enjoys reading, playing guitars, and adding to an already wildly overstocked t-shirt collection.

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