On my bulletin board there hangs a yellowing slip of newsprint with a "Top 10 Cliches of 2006." I've kept this post because I want to remind myself that no matter how long I've been writing, I can still fall prey to everyday jargon that can only muddy a message.
In fact, the longer I write about the business world, the more I've come to understand that employers are masters at jargon. They spread the stuff like a virus, first using these phrases in management meetings and seminars, then repeating them to employees in internal memos and and meetings. Pretty soon we're all spouting things like "win-win," "core competency" and "pushing the envelope" and before you know it, there are bestseller books talking about "synergy" and "value-added" ideas and "rightsizing."
Over time, I've scribbled my own "do not use" cliches and words to this list, and I'd like to share some of them with you today. Keep in mind, however, that I can be caught at any time using them, but hey, I'm trying. (Is there a recovery group for Business Jargonists?)
Please feel free to add to this list. In fact, we all need to band together and try and stop the madness:
1. At the end of the day
2. Change agent
5. It's not brain surgery/rocket science
6. Throw him/her under the bus
7. Start a conversation
8. Create a new paradigm
9. Level the playing field
10. Wealth of experience
13. Blah, blah, blah
14. Show the love
Please, join in. At the end of the day, I want to be as authentic and as transparent as possible, and would like to start a conversation about this topic and level the playing field.