Annoying Jargon

  • Do you hate going forward? Do you shudder when a colleague wants to reach out? Are you disgusted by low-hanging fruit, sick of being on the team, and reluctant to open the kimono?
  • Does the phrase blue-sky thinking make you see red?
  • Do you really want to drill down or take a helicopter view?
  • Are you past caring whether the key drivers are going to move the needle? Should anyone really punch a puppy? 
  • And can you bear to hear about a big hairy audacious goal?
  • If modern office jargon makes you want to throw up, this book is for you. Taking a hilarious and scathing deep dive into the most hated and absurd examples of corporate-speak it is a huge moment for verbally downtrodden workers everywhere.

Personally I hate:

  • think outside the box
  • hop on a call
  • jump on a call
  • it’s not rocket science
  • wrinkle (used instead of problem)
  • e-anything (as in e-id, e-government)
  • skill set
  • sustainable
  • baked in
  • holistic
  • seedbed
  • best practice
  • drop the ball
  • social media
  • SMART and SWOT analyses
  • at the end of the day

Added by readers (thank you!)

  • Ticks all the right boxes
  • Let’s run with that
  • Inbox me…….. What’s wrong with Email me?
  • Ping that to me…. ditto!
  • circle back
  • deep dive
  • level set
  • let’s unpack that
  • going forward
  • take ownership
  • locked and loaded
  • push the envelope
  • Facebook me
  • lead from the front
  • let’s get onboard then
  • my conclusions are informed by the activist narrative.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

14 thoughts

  1. Add

    Saying the price of something as just numbers without including the currency ‘Only Four Nine Nine…. instore now’ etc!

  2. I am with you 100%. I don’t use any of those expressions at all. We have/are raising a younger generation who cannot use proper grammar because they never learned it at school. Remember the “fun” of parsing a sentence! I like correct grammar and some of the expressions are silly. Oops, my age is showing LOL

  3. I use “looping in…” when I’m announcing that I’m going to add someone to an existing email string. I’m pretty sure that’s annoying too 🙂

  4. I will admit to using “ping me”, but in the specific circumstance of e.g. “Ping me when you are back at your desk and we will discuss the issue”, as colloquial shorthand meaning “send me an IM on Skype or Lync to advise me that you are available for a teleconference”. This in turn is influenced by the usage of “ping”, the networking utility used to check whether there is network connectivity to a host system from another; the utility is itself named analogously for its mode of operation which is akin to a sonar “ping”. From this you may deduce that I am (a) a geek (b) familiar with computers and networking and (c) clearly getting old!

    1. If you know what 10base-T/Twisted pair ethernet is I’ll buy you a drink! And if you can create an auto exec.bat menu I’ll buy you the bar!

      1. Well of course nowadays we call 10base-T just plain Ethernet and the requisite CAT5 or CAT6 cabling is ubiquitous… I go back far enough that I’ve worked with systems on real (thick) Ethernet, complete with coax cabling as thick as a thumb, vampire taps and AUI connectors…
        As far as DOS batch scripting is concerned I never really got into it, although I’m sure given half an hour to refresh my memory I could manage something. I did once write the first stage of an EDIFACT parser in VAX/VMS DCL though – enough so it could slurp a transmission out of an email message, then parse the interchange header to find out if it was a production message or a test message, then route it to the appropriate target system – does that count? 🙂

  5. One which particularly grates on me is:
    “I will revert to you ASAP” meaning “I will come back to you with an answer as soon as possible”.

    One incompetent buffoon at a previous employer (he worked in HR!) used this ALL THE TIME and in the end I emailed him quite firmly but politely, pointing out that it was technically impossible for him to revert to me, since he had never been me in the first place.

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