Lazy Language Drives Me Insane

I confess! Lazy language drives me insane! Why is it that people pick up on a word or phrase they hear someone – usually a celebrity or someone else in the news – and they repeat it ad naseum? It’s been how many years since the 1990 Persian Gulf War? And still the cringe-inducing phrase, “mother of all ______” keeps popping up.┬áThen there’s “Seriously?” I used that phrase years before Grey’s Anatomy ruined it for common usage.

Business is famous for lazy language and bad jargon. How many times have you heard the following:

  • Touch base
  • Circle the wagons
  • Boots on the ground
  • The troops
  • Working on the same page
  • Best in class
  • Low-hanging fruit
  • Solution
  • Intellectual needle
  • Leader
  • From soup to nuts
  • Innovative
  • No-brainer
  • Game-changing
  • Proactive
  • Paradigm-shifters
  • Take it to the next level
  • Branding
  • Award-winning

And don’t forget the ever-popular “win-win”. Business jargon has gotten so bad it’s even spawned a game, “Bullshit Bingo.”

But the one that drives me absolutely beserk is, “My bad.” Oh really? Your bad what? I have to physically restrain myself from asking that question every time I hear someone say that.

What’s the word or phrase that makes you cringe?

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