20 Worst Business Buzzwords
Vicki Santillano | DivineCaroline
During a phone conversation with a friend the other day, I uttered the phrase “I’ll shoot you an email tomorrow.” Shoot you an email? Who am I, a yuppie stockbroker from the early ’90s? Somehow, though I’m not technically a part of the corporate world, its ridiculous lingo has entered my vocabulary (albeit ten years behind everyone else).
But “shoot” is where it ends, because most corporate jargon baffles me. Only in that world would phrases like “drill down” and “going granular” replace plain English. There are many confusing aspects of the business world, but with slang like this, it’s a wonder anything gets accomplished at all.
1. Back-of-the-envelope: calculations made haphazardly or informally. “Jim’s giving me back-of-the-envelope numbers, but I need concrete, exact figures.”
2. Bio break: a bathroom visit during business hours. “Sorry I’m late, guys. I had to take a bio break.”
3. Bleeding-edge: a concept or trend that’s so innovative and new, it goes beyond being cutting-edge. “This idea’s so bleeding-edge, the other guys won’t be talking about it until next year.”
4. Desk dive: the awkward bend to retrieve something that’s fallen or been placed underneath one’s desk. “When Jill dropped the almond under her desk, she sighed, adjusted her shirt and pants, and had to desk dive to retrieve it.”
5. Disintermediate: to take out the middleman. “There are too many people involved in this project, so let’s disintermediate a few of them to make work flow more smoothly.”
6. Drink from the fire hose: to take in too much information at once. “Sally drank from the fire hose with all those reports she read last night, so she can’t remember a thing.”
7. Drill down: to examine carefully. “After lunch, let’s drill down on this case and figure out what’s going on.”
8. Eat the frog: to finish a job you’ve been putting off because it’s annoying and/or frustrating. “I’ve been avoiding these TPS reports all week, but it’s time to eat the frog and get them off my desk.”