These 50 Workplace Phrases Are the Worst [INFOGRAPHIC]

April 29, 2016

8:11 am

Remember when everyone was screaming “Content is King!” from the rooftops and clinking their IPA glasses together? Unfortunately, it still happens from time to time, but more people now roll their eyes at the phrase. And I'm sure even your grandmother is telling you to “ping” her when Wheel of Fortune is over because she can't talk right now.

There are some phrases that have been making their way around business circles for decades that simply refuse to die. There are also some new ones that you probably catch yourself saying on a weekly basis. Just because they're newer than, say, “thinking outside the box,” doesn't mean you should be using them in daily conversations with colleagues….or at all. In fact, you should probably “think outside the box” by coming up with new ways to communicate…just don't let whatever you come up with become the new gratingly annoying, jargony, catchphrase.

GoToMeeting put together this infographic of the most annoying and cliched phrases we hear around work. Most of them will probably be familiar to you, such as “get the ball rolling,” or “par for the course,” but some of them are less common (but no less annoying). They've also offered some fun facts for a few of them.

For example, did you ever notice how condescending the word “empower” is? It's basically just something supervisors say to their employees when they want them to complete an important task but never forget who's still in charge. Or did you know that the phrase “ducks in a row” is an old bowling term from before there was a machine that set up pins automatically and someone had to manually put all the “ducks” (pins) in a row. And really, saying you don't have the bandwidth is just a trendy and annoying way of saying you're too busy. Get over yourself.


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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy