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The 12 most insufferable pieces of office jargon in existence

Let’s blue-sky this dialogue and circle back tomorrow.

LAST WEEK WE wrote a piece about the most infuriating talkers in your office. It sparked so many comments about awful office jargon that we decided that needed a little more attention.

Here, without further ado, are the worst pieces of meaningless manager-lingo ever spouted. Ranked from least to most offensive.

12. “Going forward”

Source: llamnudds

Oh, what’s that? You mean ‘in the future’? WELL WHY DON’T YOU JUST SAY IT?

11. “Synergy”

Source: zappowbang

Would probably be higher up this list if only we knew what it meant.

10. “Blue-sky”

Source: Dennis Wong

As in “Let’s blue-sky this dialogue.” Closely related to thinking outside the box, but with more clouds.

9. “Think outside the box”

Source: z287marc

If I really thought outside the box, you’d fire me. What you actually mean is “think inside a very slightly bigger box.”

Further hampered by the Irish alternative meaning of ‘box’, which basically makes any sentence including it impossible to take seriously.

8. “Proactive”

Source: normanack

This literally just means ‘active’, but with an extra three letters at the beginning. See also: ‘forward planning’.

7. “What’s your bandwidth?”

Source: The Eggplant

The worst replacement for ‘Are you too busy’ anyone could possibly have come up with.

6. “Let’s park that”

Source: positionmktg

Translation: Shut up, minion.

5. “360-degree thinking”

Source: oddsock

I’m sorry, how many degrees should we think about this in? Three hundred and sixty, you say? Grand.

4. “Circle back”

Source: briannaorg

Also ‘loop back’, as in ‘We’ll loop back tomorrow on this’. Just one of the million words that Satan invented to replace ‘talk’.

3. “Paradigm shift”

Source: ronocdh

Literally nobody in the world knows what this actually means in an office context.

2. “Round-table”

Source: Wonderlane

Used as a verb, as in “Let’s round-table that tomorrow.” Insufferable. Should be made grounds for instant dismissal.

1. “Touch base”

Source: mnsc

The absolute worst. Sounds like an office-inappropriate euphemism. We might as well replace it with “drop the hand on base” and just watch the world burn.

What’s your most hated piece of office jargon? Let us know in the comments…

Thanks to Michael Quane, Maria Pharrell, Michael Fay, Ciara Knight, kat365, Adebayo Flynn, Gavan Reilly, Seán Denny, Edwin Gilson and Best Bits.

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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