More Buzzword Business …

1 02 2011

Even though we closed nominations in December and listed the top 20 business buzzwords to be banned in our last post ( nominations continue to pour in. Moreover, the conversation about business buzzwords has taken on a life of its own in the LinkedIn Groups we used to gather the nominations, especially the Public Relations and Communications Professionals group.

Some notable nominations called out phrases that seem to carry a different meaning than the actual words might indicate.  Here are a few of them (along with what the speaker really wants to say):

  • I don’t disagree with you (but I really don’t agree with you either)
  • To be perfectly honest (here comes the spin)
  • Having said that (now I’m going to contradict what I have just said to cover myself)
  • Let’s take this offline (stop talking about this NOW, you’re killing me!)
  • Moving forward (you screwed up and don’t ever let this happen again!)
  • With all due respect (are you out of your mind?)
  • Obviously (are you too dense to recognize this?)

Another subset of nominations for business buzzwords to be banned might be categorized as just plain “ic-ky” … in that their overuse/abuse has squandered their impact:

  • Epic
  • Iconic
  • Optic
  • Analytic
  • Metric
  • Organic

Overall, there were more than 700 responses to our call for nominations. Perhaps the best contribution came from UK PR and communications professional Tony Coll (, who suggested we all start using a few new nonsensical phrases, just to see if the business world will pick them up as the next buzzphrases.

Among Tony’s suggestions are:

  • Marvin knows where the Post-It® notes are buried.
  • It’s accountancy, Jim, but not as we know it. 
  • In a badger market, every pig is plump.
  • He’s playing his brother’s trumpet on this one.
  • Thanks, Tony. I can’t wait to hear one of these pop up in a strategy meeting!


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