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Workplace Jargon to Drop from Your Vocabulary

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workplace jargon

Summary: There are likely a number of phrases and words that you use at work that are unnecessary and making you look silly.

People often get caught up in workplace jargon that they don’t even understand. They hear a peer or supervisor use big fancy words so they think they should be using them too. The truth is that person doesn’t even understand the words they are using. Stop the cycle of ridiculous language at your office by not repeating those words. American Express conducted a survey of the most ridiculous phrases people say at the office that the respondents hate hearing.

The winners of American Expresses survey are:

  • Let’s parking lot this
  • It’s time to eat a reality sandwich
  • It’s time to put the soup through the strainer
  • It’s like trying to put a horn on a horse and call it a unicorn
  • Recontextualize
  • Datafication
  • Operationalize
  • Siloed thinking
  • Synergize
  • Net-net
  • In the weeds
  • Blue-sky thinking

Obviously, some of these phrases are from people trying to sound smart by adding “ize” to the end of the word. Other phrases and words are not ever clear in what their meaning is supposed to imply. Industry jargon is important for those in the industry to easily understand common terms and get their point across clearly. However, there are times when people go too far with their industry-specific jargon.

Other words and phrases people have indicated in other surveys that should be avoided are:

  • Paradigm
  • Deep dive
  • On a go forward basis
  • Think outside the box
  • Pivot
  • Honestly
  • Touch Base
  • Reach Out
  • Guru
  • Let’s take this conversation offline
  • Low-hanging fruit
  • Ninja
  • Rock star
  • It’s not rocket science
  • Face time
  • At the end of the day
  • Back to the drawing board
  • Hit the ground running
  • Core competency
  • Off the grid
  • Ping me

Don’t believe us? Use these words and watch how people react to them. Are there some eyes rolling? Or looks of confusion? Or maybe the answer you receive when you ask a question with one or some of these words just doesn’t make sense because the person doesn’t understand what you asked them.

Are there any phrases that you hate hearing at work or hear but don’t actually understand? Tell us those phrases in the comments below.

To learn more about proper workplace behavior, read these articles:

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Workplace Jargon to Drop from Your Vocabulary by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin