Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch, whose works influenced the evolution of the essay, probably described the importance of speech best when he said, “The power of speech is the ability to express a lot in a few words.”
For this reason, people are driven to use phrases and jargon to help express what they want to say in as few words as possible. Often phrases can be powerful and can help you really get your point across. However, sometimes it can have the opposite effect of what you want to achieve and can actually be confusing, irritating and indeed undermine your credibility, especially in thework place.
Although every industry and workplace will always have their own unique set of phrases and jargon and others are very commonplace for all, there is a danger of using those that are simply irritating and indeed might actually have an impact on your relationships at work and on how your career develops.
So, it really is in our best interests to avoid the most irritating phrases and thankfully a recent survey of 2,000 people by leadingjobsiteGlassdoor, gives us the ones we need to avoid.
The survey shows the UK’s most annoying office buzzwords in 2018 are “touch base”, followed by “no brainer” and “punch a puppy” (no we hadn’t heard of that one either, but it’s out there).
The phrase “touch base” remains the most annoying office term for the second year in a row, after also topping the 2017 survey, however, new phrases this year include “lipstick on a pig” (#10), “I want to leverage your synergies” (#11) and “let’s reverse engineer” (#12).
The phrases that nearly made the cut, butwerejust not quite irritating enough, included "stakeholder", "paradigm shift", "bandwidth" and "roadmap".
The UK’s most annoying office jargon in 2018
Touch base (24%) - To meet or talk about a specific issue
No brainer (14%) - A decision is very easy or obvious
Punch a puppy (14%) - To do something horrible for the greater good
Game changer (11%) - A unique or disruptive product, idea or process that represents a significant shift in thinking
Pick it up and run with it (10%) - To continue a process that someone else has started
Mission statement (9%) - A guiding principle or objective for a business
We’re on a journey (9%) - Bringing a team together in order to achieve a unified goal
If you don’t like it get off the bus (9%) - Implying that a colleague should leave a company if they are unhappy
Run this up the flagpole (9%) - Test the popularity of a new idea or proposal
Lipstick on a pig (9%) - Trying to improve a bad product/idea with superficial changes
I want to leverage your synergies (8%) - To take steps to amplify situations when two complementary business ideas run in parallel
Let’s reverse engineer (8%) - To disassemble an idea or process, breaking it down into its components
Let’s get our ducks in a row (8%) - To align a team in preparation for a campaign or activity