Let’s turn those @&#*ing buzzwords into something good

I read this article in Forbes, in which the author rants against the overuse of buzzwords and jargon in American businesses. The top offenders, which I have been guilty of at some point:

drill down
ducks in a row
hard stop
think outside the box
synergize
move the needle
it is what it is
learning (noun)
impact (verb)
take it to the next level
manage expectations
low-hanging fruit
utilize
circle back
take it offline
reach out
deep dive
bandwidth
have that conversation

The last two I’ve highlighted in red as I overuse them in particular but were not included in the list. I’ve taken public speaking classes, am an active member of Toastmasters International and have taken at least one course in “Making it Stick“. Yet buzzwords persist in my language – Google is a corporation like any other in that we are equally victim to buzzwords.

After reading this article, I searched through a day’s worth of e-mail for these buzzwords and found 5 occurrences. And this doesn’t even count how many times I use these words in speech, which has less of a mental filter than my typed e-mails.

Short of audio-recording myself the entire time I’m in the office, I can’t hold myself accountable for all of the buzzwords I use in speech. But buzzwords in my e-mail I can do something about.

MISSION: For every time I use one of the buzzwords above in an e-mail, I will donate $1 to Room to Read, a charity that works to improve education of children in developing countries.

Let’s turn these buzzwords into the only good they will ever do.

P.S. Yes, I scanned through this blog post before posting to make sure I hadn’t accidentally used a buzzword in it. Fortunately my buzzwords seem isolated to work conversations.

P.P.S Added “have that conversation”

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5 thoughts on “Let’s turn those @&#*ing buzzwords into something good

  1. Is “piece” terrible for google too? As in: “We’ve got Cathy working on that piece. What about the oversight piece?”

    Or: “have that conversation”

    • “Piece” is not used enough to be terrible as it’s interchangeable with “part”. “Have that conversation” is used to a horrendous degree and should be added to my list.

  2. I don’t get how many of these qualify as “jargons”… overused perhaps, but it doesn’t take a business degree (or a related job position) to understand them?

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