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20 Bad Business Jargon Terms You Should Remove from Your Vocabulary

  • March 15 2016
  • Comments Off on 20 Bad Business Jargon Terms You Should Remove from Your Vocabulary

When writing for someone or your own business blog, it is tempting to use buzzwords or clichés to get your point across. However, overusing these phrases and words can hurt your blog’s credibility and will more often than not turn people away from reading it. Not only are they often confusing and annoying, but they can also be meaningless. Instead, avoid business jargon and try to be as clear as possible so that you can get your point across. Here are 20-overused business jargons and ways to avoid using them in your business blog.


1.   Limited Bandwidth

Don’t use this technical computing term to mean ‘at capacity’ or ‘too busy’, instead, simply write what you mean by using the words “swamped” or “busy”. People will relate to you much better.


2.   Drink the Kool-Aid

You probably don’t want to really refer to the tragedy of the 1978 Jonestown suicides in your blog. Instead, simply write what you mean by writing such a phrase, as “more critical examination is needed before a decision can be made.”


3.   When Push Comes to Shove

This is a highly overused phrase that can easily be replaced with “when conditions become more intense, “in the case the situation becomes worse”, or, “if necessary.”


4.   Do More with Less

This is a vague business cliché. What should you do more of? And with less of what exactly? This phrase often means ‘work more for less compensation’ or is a euphemism for ‘work smarter’. However, in most cases your reader is already doing so. Avoid using this cliché by being more specific, saying what you mean, and making your argument.


5.   At the End of the Day

Unless you are writing about a specific event that is occurring in the evening, instead of using this phrase use “ultimately,” “finally,” or “once everything else has been considered.”


6.   Par for the Course

This overworked term should not be used unless you are referring to golfing, as not only is it hackneyed, but also many people do not actually understand what it means. Instead, try “commonplace”, “normal, or “expected.”


7.   Break Down the Silos

You probably will find a significant percentage of your readers who do not know the definition of “silos.” If you are referring to collaborating with another person or entity, then instead use “work together”, “cooperate” or “share information”.


8.   Take It to the Next Level

Unless you are referring to a measurable, specific performance level that your readers are familiar with when using this phrase, then it is best to avoid using it. This is more often than not an empty phrase, as no one knows what exactly the next level looks like. Instead, be specific.


9.   Let’s Circle Back

This is corporate jargon for “let’s bring this topic up at a later date.” Just use this phrase instead.


10.  Bite the Bullet

This phrase comes from the United States Civil War in which soldiers would literally bite down on a bullet to distract from their pain during surgery. Instead, use “make a difficult decision” or “take a hard step” to be clearer.


11.  Paradigm Shift

This is overused business jargon that dates back to the 90s. Instead, use, “critical adjustment”, “major difference”, or “fundamental change.”


12.  On the Bleeding Edge

Drop this painful, gory image stemming from the early 80s and say it as it is with such a phrase as “the most advanced technology to date.”


13.  Think Outside the Box

This phrase has been around since the 70s and is one of the most overworked business jargons out there. Alternately, use, “stretch your imagination”, “take on a new perspective”, or “think differently.”


14.  One Throat to Choke

This tasteless phrase will not sit well with your readers. Instead, use “one point of contact”.


15.  Synergize

Another massively overused jargon. Avoid using this stock phrase meaning, “work together” to give clarity to your writing. You’ll gain both engagement and credibility by doing so.


16.  Open the Kimono

You probably don’t want to refer to exposing the nudity of someone donning a traditional Japanese robe. Replace this tasteless and strange expression with what you actually mean to say-“accurately and clearly sharing all necessary information.”


17.  You Can’t Boil the Ocean

Instead of using this jargon, be clear and direct by what you mean—that something is an unreasonable task.


18.  Peel Back the Layers

This predictable phrase is better left unused. Instead, write, “take a closer look.”


19.  Drill Down

Instead of using this phrase similar to ‘peel back the layers’, simply use “carefully examine.” The same goes for “unpack” and “double-click.”


20.  Low Hanging Fruit

Don’t refer to a market base as effortlessly picked fruit. Rather, write, “this market is easier to sell to.”


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Cameron Mackey

Cameron is the Content Manager for the Vorongo Blog. He has spent three years in various content marketing roles. When he is not working with Vorongo he enjoys photography and hiking.

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