Business words that need a break and my new top 5:

Really Needs a Break:
"Going forward"

My Fave Top 5 Right Now:
"Pull the chute"
"Move the needle"

What are yours?


DarrellNorton's picture

"Dial in"
"Pull up"

lazerus's picture

Terms I'm seeing WAY TOO MUCH in job searches:

I see the word stellar in every context: stellar communication, stellar programming skills, etc.
"Rock-star" is just stupid. How do you measure that? "I was at the "stellar" level programming PHP, then I moved up to the "Rock-Star" level, as you can see from this chart."

Thanks for letting me complain. MT forums are stellar.

MPower's picture

Lazerus - great comment. You're a rock star!

MPower's picture

I think it's funny to see some people adapt to others' euphemisms... especially in the same conversation simply because they can't seem to articulate precisely what it is they're thinking.

Bob: I think we need to trigger this thing.
Jim: That's a great idea... let's trigger it today.
Bob: I'm glad we agree. Great work.
Jim: Yes, great work.

In other words... whatever 'he' said.

ashdenver's picture

"Reach out"
"Wrap back around"
"Take the temperature"
"Go ahead and ..."

On a side-note, I swear I'm going to go buggy the next time I hear any variation of "tough economic times!" Argh. I get it but we need a new catch-phrase. I'm sorely tired of hearing about "rough/challenging/tough economic times."

bug_girl's picture

I get twitchy when people say "That's a learning for me."

"A Learning."


Davis Staedtler's picture

Ha!!! 'Rock Star' and 'take the temperature' are so overused.... I still love 'take the temperature though'.

Good one Bug_Girl. People love to say, 'great learns'... saying 'learns' just sound weird!


jhack's picture

That use of "Learning" is especially funny because there's already a perfect word, "Lesson," the neologism isn't charming or evocative, and there's no need for a euphemism in any case!

At least "take the temperature" or "rock star" evokes a nice image... and "level-set" glosses over the harsh reality of having to work through something.


galway's picture

#1 Business word I would love to see less of right now:



tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge


Rickum's picture

I love seeing advertisements looking for 'Rock Star Programmers'.

Aren't most programmers already at that level?

They get up late, they dress badly, they perform well for about two hours a day a sit around for the rest of it .. and then get paid well.


Anandha's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Does "right sizing" mean the company is growing?

mdave's picture

"The methodology will be..." Argh!!! Methodology is the study of methods. Drop the extra sylable.  You ever see this one buggirl??

"Stand it up"

route514's picture

But you have to admit that rock stars are pretty EPIC!

Epic is one I could do with out, especially when it follows everything including things that aren't so.

That story...

That joke...

That bagel...

Just forget it, it doesn't mean anything anymore...

bug_girl's picture

We can still say Epic Fail, though?

Davis Staedtler's picture


I vote yes on "Fail". It's more of a social networking buzz word than a business buzz word I think. It works for me though.


cwcollin's picture

There are plenty of buzz words that float around my company, but this one takes the cake for me.

What does this mean?  It is just a call to inaction....a cop out.


hyubdoo23's picture


I like to challenge this if I hear it. You're right, it's a cop out. It's the verbal equivalent of the shoulder shrug, the denial of responsibility. It's weak.


"it is what it is" - only if you let it be.



rgbiv99's picture

Funny - I've always thought of it as similar to Mark's "embrace reality." If someone makes a bad decision or work is dysfunctional, I still have to do my job. I still have to come in and be effective every day. I think of it as finding a way around roadblocks. I can't change decisions my boss makes - it is what it is - but I can still come in and be as effective as possible.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

...though sometimes I have heard it used in the cynical sense.

an oops for me: methodology is the study of methods.  I bet I've used that one. ;-)

I worry that as much as I talk, (or perhaps as much as people listen), I'm in danger of being buzzword bingo heaven for many.

On the other hand, some of my comments are devilishly short when everyone else wants to pontificate.  As in the response to, "should we fire him?"

Everyone else says blah blah blah, and I say, "Yes." or "No."

I do think some of the phrases are folks trying to emotionalize things, or anthropomorphize something.  It's a noble effort.

And then there are those who simply say them because they think it makes them seem smart... schadenfreude when they use it incorrectly.

And my favorite phrase of all time that will NEVER go out of style:

Yes please thank you.

430jan's picture

You're operating in a "silo". Say what? We are in corn country here and that one always makes me laugh.

Mostly we are worried about falling off of silos.

jardena's picture
Training Badge

I love "That ship has sailed".  People always say this to me when I'm trying to fix an underlying problem, or "right the ship" to stay with the metaphor.     They might as well say "we've thrown in the towel, and have accepted our fate as failures."

ccleveland's picture

A current local favorite that has been well worn out:  "We don't know what we don't know."   :(

While I do think it's overused, "methodology" can also mean a group of methods, rules or procedures--not just the study of methods.  Words often grow in usage beyond their original etymology.  Much like pedagogy is often used when talking about the practices used in teaching...not just the study of those practices.


PaulM's picture

 I always thought phrases such as 

"cycle time"

were just quirky telecom terms. It is good to see they're used in other walks as well. 


Desiretosucceed's picture

No problem, no problemo

A request or correction and the answer is no problem or no problemo?
I can not stand it. I would never tell my boss "no problemo", not professional.

timrutter's picture

Oh this is a point of high horsemanship with me! Someone please administer a valium or three if I start droning on:

Tracking The Delta - no one knows what 'The Delta' measures, but it sounds insightful

Blue Sky Thinking - massively overused on a project I worked on, irritated the heck out of me

Jargon just makes for ineefective communication, which is why we all get annoyed by it. People use it without a common understanding of what it means, hence the message sent is not the message received. The best public speakers I have heard in all of my disjointed careers have never resorted to jargon or anocronyms

jennkaotic's picture

The one I can't stand is "Thrown under the bus". If anyone points out an incosisantcy or issue in a disscussion the person involved is "getting thrown under the bus". Apparently I am a great thrower. I just want to say sometimes "don't stand near the bus you won't get thrown under it.



piratedave's picture

 I've started referring to "stovepipes" as "cylinders of excellence"

jakeski's picture


"I think we are in a good place directionally with < prospect>"

"Strategic Adjacencies"

markjose413's picture

 Start a new business in new place and sell business overseas, it's not so easy. You should have to know all the knowledge about it.