Secret Project: The Language of Business


My Friends,

I need your help. I can’t get into specifics just yet but several co-workers and I had a brilliant idea today whilst enjoying our lunch. Here’s the request: List the business catch phrases you hear day in and day out in meetings, at your desk, even at the water cooler.

By catch phrases I mean those colloquialisms, idioms, and jargon people throw around that when you stop and think about it mean nothing in real life. Here’s some examples (which, by the way, I too have caught myself using some on several an occasion):

  • circle back
  • move the needle
  • in the weeds
  • riffing (meaning free form, making it up as we go)
  • [the ever popular]…100,000 foot view
  • boil the ocean
  • texture around the edges
  • get back to neutral
  • flip the switch on
  • getting more religion around this
  • socialize this (as in, I’m going to take this back to the team and socialize this)
  • ride the clue train
  • jump the shark
  • red flag (as in; the red flag [alarm, early warning sign] in the process you’re describing is…)
  • blue sky
  • [add your own in the comments below]

Here’s some fun links to check out:

There’s so much out there. If you come across things on this or similar topics please post it here as well. Also, I posted a topic similar to this in the past that included recommended reading if you’d like to see more on why some people speak this way.

Thanks for your help! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted once the secret project is complete!

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6 responses to “Secret Project: The Language of Business

  1. Look at this from a different level/angle
    Take a stab at
    Ping me
    Think out of the box
    Thrown under the bus
    Kickoff Meeting
    Hit it out of the park
    Low hanging fruit

  2. – Out of the box
    – Update the road map
    – Dive right in
    – Trial by fire
    – Was that English?
    – Let’s not get ahead of ourselves

  3. My personal pet peeve: Calling people “resources.” It’s one thing you’re talking about several pieces of the puzzle (time, money, tools, and/or team members) but when you’re solely referring to team member(s), calling them “resources” almost seems derogatory.

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