It turns out that “circling back” about “company culture” to adjust to the “new normal” is just as irritating as it sounds.
According to a new survey by language-learning app Preply, some buzzwords have become just plain annoying. Business jargon is often a necessary evil, with three out of four respondents saying it can make a person sound more professional, but that doesn’t mean people love every snappy catchphrase that’s exchanged between coworkers.
Below are the top 10 most annoying business buzzwords, according to the survey, 4 of which also appear on the list of the most frequently used phrases:
- New normal
- Culture (e.g. “Company culture”)
- Circle back
- Boots on the ground
- Give 110%
- Low-hanging fruit
- Move the needle
- Growth hacking
- Think outside the box
The survey also pointed out red flags in job postings. Beware opportunities looking for “rock stars” who can “wear many hats” and work in a “fast-paced environment.”
Luckily, it’s not all bad news. Useful acronyms like SMB (small and mid-size business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) tend to be less annoying, along with expressions like “at the end of the day,” “debrief,” and “table this.” If you’re a job seeker, look for postings that include words like “proactive,” “empower,” and “leverage”—while also offering “lots of perks and benefits” and “competitive salary.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, some of the least annoying phrases are also some of the least used. Even the most easy-going person can only be told how to “think outside the box” for their “growth hacking” just so many times.