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'110 Percent': The 10 Most Hated Business Buzzwords and Jargon

Jake Rossen
Some office buzzwords can be unbearable for employees.
Some office buzzwords can be unbearable for employees. / RapidEye/E+ via Getty Images
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If you’ve ever tried to give “110 percent” to a task, chances are you’ve worked in an office. In the workplace, employees and supervisors tend to speak a distinctive kind of corporate jargon that can sound like a lot while meaning very little. These buzzwords can appear in emails, in meetings, and in conversations.

Recently, language learning site Preply.com surveyed more than 1500 Americans who worked in an office setting either in-person or remotely to find out which words and phrases most rankled them. See if you agree.

1. New Normal

The phrase, which typically tasks the listener with coming to grips with an unpleasant new reality, topped the list. Forty-three percent of respondents declared it their least-liked term in a business setting.

2. Culture

Specifically, company culture, which usually denotes a company M.O. or motto employees are expected to adhere to.

3. Circle Back

Revisiting a topic you probably didn’t want to address in the first place makes this phrase unwelcome in the workspace.

4. Boots on the Ground

Military lingo for putting people on a task is an eye-roller for many.

5. Give 110 Percent

It’s mathematically impossible. Everyone knows it. People use it anyway.

6. Low-Hanging Fruit

Aspire to achieve an easy objective? You’re reaching far below your capabilities.

7. Win-Win

When something has no obvious downside, it’s a win all the way around.

8. Move the Needle

When you want to make progress or create enthusiasm, you probably don’t need to be using this tired phrase in the process.

9. Growth Hacking

Setting new goals doesn’t necessarily need to involve invoking any kind of “hacking” reference.

10. Think Outside the Box

Thinking outside the box would require you not to use the phrase “think outside the box.”

Preply.com found that respondents didn’t particularly mind “at the end of the day,” “table this,” or “game changer” when it came to tired clichés. Be assured the website gave 110 percent in tabulating these results. For more buzzword intel, circle back to Preply's site.

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