Words by Holly Harrison
While creating the visuals for #LikeABoss | Trust, we tasked ourselves to come up with a few phrases for our construction paper bosses to say. “Work stuff,” we decided. “Boss stuff.”
It took a second to get started, but once we did — “Can we take this conversation offline?” — it came in a flood. There was some general office parlance about dialing out and broken copy machines, but most of it was buzzwords and buzzphrases that are near impossible to escape in the average American workplace.
While poking fun at the jargon of the modern office, we noticed ourselves using it. “Framework.” “Leverage.” “Drill-down.” As easy as it is to laugh at, the terms that get blacked out by Sans Bullshit Sans don’t often have non-buzzy synonyms. It seems there’s only one way to say “future-proof,” and that’s “future-proof.”
We know there’s lots of meaningful work that gets swallowed up by buzzwords. And if you focus on sidestepping jargon, you at best end up being wordy, at worst end up verbally paralyzed. Or, as our friend Safy puts it —
good luck explaining anything without some buzzy word you hate
— Safy (@SafyHallanFarah) May 7, 2015
Here, in no particular order, is our compilation of workplace idioms we want to stop using in 2015 (to be updated in 2017 when all of these buzzwords have been replaced by new ones).
- Can we take this conversation offline?
- How do we get their buy-in?
- Ballpark it for me.
- Price Point
- How do we move the needle on this?
- This project has a lot of moving parts.
- Let’s table that.
- My team doesn’t have the bandwidth for this.
- Giving 110%
- Let’s circle up on this later.
- Great idea—add it to your deck.
- That’s a win-win.
- It’s crunch time.
- Paradigm shift
- Drill down