12 Mar 2009

Top 10 Most Hated Business Phrases

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has conducted a survey into the most hated business phrases in the UK. From the top:

1. Blue sky thinking
2. Singing from the same hymn sheet
3. Thinking outside the box
4. Touching base
5. Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
6. End to end solution
7. We must reach out
8. Evolution NOT revolution
9. All on the same page
10. Team work makes the dream work

Think of it as your blueprint copy for boardroom bingo (or your application form for 'The Apprentice').

The survey was the first step in the IAB's noble attempt to rid the business world of cheesy motivational phraseology. (Actually, it was a PR stunt to launch their guide to B2B marketing online, but we'll let that pass).

MediaExplored's own pet peeves - 'synergising' and 'leveraging' (two entirely fabricated verbs which never fail to put our spellchecker in a spin BECAUSE THEY DON'T EXIST!) - were notable by their absence.

Joking aside, there is a lot to be said for the use of proper English in business. For a crash course in how to get it write (sorry), get yourself down to one of the courses organised by The Writer, a centre for business writing that prides itself on being on a different page.


Sputnikki said...

It transpires that not even the fictional world (the one with scripts!) is safe from over-used, hackneyed phrases.

The Executive Producer of EastEnders wrote to this Saturday’s Telegraph:

SIR – Contrary to the assertion (Letters March 12) that the phrase, “What’s going on?” is in every episode of every soap, I’d like to put it on record that both the phrase and its regional variant, “Woss goin’ on?” have been banned from EastEnders since 2007.

We’re still hopeful of eradicating, “We need to talk”, and “I’ll see myself out”, in time for our 25th anniversary next year.

Diederick Santer
Executive Producer, EastEnders
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

Anonymous said...

Even local government - arguably the pioneers of meaningless terms - is getting in on the act.


Maybe this is yet another example of a bigger trend towards honesty and transparency discussed elsewhere on this blog.