Death to Corporate Mumbo Jumbo

Have you ever had that colleague who uses obnoxious and pretentious business jargons in the office? I was guilty of this, too until someone else talked to me like this. I realized, it’s so annoying! Here are my top 5 worst corporate mumbo and some suggestions on how to say it succinctly without sounding like a total douche.

  1. We do not have the bandwidth to do x, y, z. – When I said this, the person I was talking to responded with, “What do you mean you don’t have the bandwidth?” It would have been a shorter discussion had I just said, I am sorry but we are understaffed, we do not have the capacity to manage this project at this time. Simple. Easy to understand. From then on, I didn’t use the term bandwidth unless I’m referring to signal frequencies.
  2. Downsizing. – This is corporate speak for people are getting fired. If your organization is laying off employees, just say that you are letting them go or that you are eliminating some of the positions. You are firing people and there’s no easy way to say it, might as well make yourself understandable.
  3. Drill down. – Unless you work for a drilling company (or IT), I think this phrase has no room in the office. How about the word examine? That’s easier to grasp.
  4. Let’s take this offline. – You know that moment when your meeting is running overtime and some folks still have questions that are not completely related to the meeting agenda or if someone wants to talk to you about something confidential? Yeah, that’s when people want to take things “offline.” Well, unless you are taking down the company’s website, you are in no way taking anything offline. Try, “Let’s set up a separate meeting.”
  5. Hard stop. – Since we’re already talking about meetings going overtime, some people use the phrase hard stop. This means that someone has to leave the meeting on time to attend to another scheduled engagement or meeting. What the hell is a hard stop anyway? (I searched and it turns out that a hard stop is a heart attack.) So if you are not having a heart attack, then might as well just say that you need to leave on time and that there’s going to be a conflict in your schedule.

I can think of more annoying terms but these are my pet peeves. While I can see why people use these terms because these phrases or words are short, I find that these are the ones which have the tendency to cause even more misunderstanding or lengthier discussions. No one is amused or impressed by corporate mumbo jumbo. Besides, the goal of communication is to be understood.

Any corporate speak/phrases you dislike? 🙂


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