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. Then 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
- Intellectual needle
- From soup to nuts
- Take it to the next level
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?