10 Business Buzzwords You Have Sentenced to Death

18 12 2012

You have spoken. The word “synergize” leads our annual list of business buzzwords that PR, communications and business professionals would like to eradicate from the lexicon before the start of the New Year.

That’s according to a couple hundred nominations from our colleagues and peers across about a dozen LinkedIn groups.

Based on our unscientific survey conducted over the past few weeks, here is the complete list of Top 10 Business Buzzwords to be Banned in 2012, with comments from some of the nominators:

Wordle: Biz Buzz

  1. Synergize – “Taking a bogus word like synergy and turning it into a verb just adds insult to injury.”
  2. Value add – “Along with its evil twin, added value, it has literally lost any value it might have ever had.”
  3. Leverage – “As a verb, as in ‘leverage our expertise’, it’s simply wrong.”
  4. Ask – “Used as a noun, as in ‘what’s your ask today?’  ask is plain awful. Just ask anyone. ”
  5. Optimize – “Another noun-turned-faux-verb with the addition of –ize. Please ‘demise-ize’ this one.”
  6. Out of the box – “ … and into the trash.”
  7. Engagement – “Unless we’re talking about getting married, forget it.”
  8. Iconic – “Unless you’re talking about a sacred image, it’s probably not really iconic … or epic, either.”
  9. Paradigm – “I thought we killed this buzzword two years ago?”
  10. Curate – “Can’t we just say ‘keep’?”

Thanks to all for their contributions.

And in closing, let me quote a contributor, Brooke Candelaris, who asked: “Can we have less ideation about dynamic content in a seamlessly contextual multi-channel environment?


What business buzzwords hit you like the sound of nails on a chalkboard?

(To see the 2011 and 2010 lists, go to http://wp.me/ppqb5-dA and http://wp.me/ppqb5-8v.)


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