INC. Magazine is out with “15 Business Buzzwords We Don’t Want to Hear.” As a copywriter and lover of language, I agree that these buzz babies might have been fresh and vibrant once, but that time has passed. Now they’re like fingernails screeching across a chalkboard.*
Is your favorite pet peeve among the words that need to be retired pronto?
“Actionable.” “Authenticity.” “Best of breed” (animal husbandry, anyone?). “Disintermediate,” as INC points out, “has the same number of syllables as ‘cut out the middleman’ with none of the clarity.” ZING!
Then there are bastardized non-words like “incentivize” (ack!) and “synergy.” And my longtime personal skin-crawler: “solution,” which died of overuse a decade ago and cries out for decent burial. [Question: If your “solution” is a liquid, does that make it a “solution solution?”]
The article also lists 15 buzzwords they still like, including “angel” and “frictionless.” But give them time. In a year or two, I’m sure we’ll be sick of them, too.
* Does anyone under 40 even know what chalkboards are? Fingernails clawed across a whiteboard just can’t duplicate the chalkboard’s cringe factor.