irritating phrases

Phrases that annoy you at work

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You all know those trite phrases that people trot out at work that irritate you.

Here are the latest from a survey by Glassdoor:

Touch base – this has been around for decades. Is it enjoying a revival?

No-brainer – same with this. Obvious really?

Punch a puppy – picking on soft targets like puppies. Check that workplace for bullying

Game changer – a bit old-fashioned. Paradigm shift anybody?

Pick it up and run with it – let’s just get on with it shall we?

Lipstick on a pig – is this a polite way of using Boris Johnson’s recent comment?

I want to leverage your synergies – someone’s been on an MBA course

Reverse engineer – this is an actual technical term so what’s the problem?

Low hanging fruit – another old favourite.

Nothing really hits me as being OTT or particularly creative. I wonder what happened to “singing from the same hymn sheet” or “let’s run it up the flagpole”? And the phrase that has irritated me most in recent years “going forward”.



Update your bulls**t bingo for the New Year

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brain_with_questions_1600_wht_9219It seems that never have so many said so much of so little importance in attempts to boost their credibility using verbal piffle. In the past you had “Let’s run it up the flagpole”, “Singing from the same hymn sheet”, ” Going forward“.

We also have to contend with the pseudo-technical phrases as highlighted in the Times Business today.

Examples? Punch a puppy ie make an unpopular decision, WFH – working from home, Gig economy – freelancing, short-term assignments & zero hour contracts, arse-covering exercise – pretty obvious that one, Dogfooding – forcing staff to wear or consume your own product to boost consumer confidence, Mandated Worker Furlough – being told to take an unpaid holiday whether you want to or not (HSBC), and Legacy issue – what was in place before I came along i.e. it’s not my fault I inherited it.

Now Marketing magazine has come up with the Top 10 most irritating phrases.

  1. Growth hacking i.e. startups using big data
  2. Fall forward i.e. learn from failure
  3. Let’s socialise this or let’s cascade this or let’s touch base i.e. let’s have a chat about it
  4. Shift the dial i.e. make progress
  5. Let’s workshop this
  6. Level playing field
  7. Let’s not boil the ocean i.e. do something too complicated
  8. Content is King
  9. I may have a window for you ie and be grateful (implied)
  10. Think outside the box i.e. differently (and it can work)

Michael Sugden, CEO of VCCP advertising agency who came up with the list said “We use these phrases to make the obvious and straightforward sound cerebral and exciting. In 2016 I promise to abstain from using claptrap phraseology”.

And that should be everyone’s New Year resolution!