The English language has over a million words and there is a fair few of them that we all absolutely love to hate, particularly when it comes to those cliché buzzwords in the corporate sector.
If you’re not sure what terms we’re referring to, it’s those such as “growth hacking” and “reach out”. It’s those two words that have been included in a vote that decided on the worst corporate jargon, cited thousands of reporters from the UK and US, in a recent survey.
In a recent feature in The Independent, the managing director at Houston PR, Hamish Thompson, acknowledged that his own industry fares worse of all predominantly when it comes to the use of buzzwords.
It was Thompson who compiled the survey as a means to provide a cautionary list for his workmates.
He said: “The extraordinary thing is that we tend to reach for words that are vague and over-used rather than language that is specific and memorable,” Thompson told the Independent.
“The strange thing is that it mostly starts with a genuine impulse to say something different.”
As voted by those in the sector, the 10 most annoying jargon words to avoid, based on descending levels of annoyance, are as follows:
- Reach out
- Growth hacking
- Circle back
There were a number of terms that just fell short of the top 10 list, such as “bandwidth”, “evangelist” and “robust”.
You may have heard these around the office, or in a meeting as well: “leverage”, “downsize”, “disruptive”, “monetise” and “unicorn”.
Thompson referred to a business he had seen several years back who described themselves as ‘a global leader in the adhesive labelling solutions sector’, to which he thought, “what you mean is ‘we sell stickers’, which I think is better,” he added.
So the next time you’re about to say a cringe-worthy corporate term, think again. You’ll thank your friendly eCommerce agency for it in the long run. (That’s us!).