Have you ever been to a meeting and wondered what language people are speaking? The foreign tongue is likely business jargon—and piling it on ensures you won’t be heard, understood, or admired for your linguistic style.
To promote clear communication with its clients, the audit, tax, and advisory services firm Grant Thornton in Chicago just compiled an index of 120 trending business buzzwords. It’s based on an analysis of Fortune 500 company websites and the language those companies used on social media, as well as common phrases in business journalism, in the first quarter of 2018. The most popular terms will sound terribly familiar.
The top five business buzzwords
“Best in class” was the number-one buzzword in the first quarter, with over 71,000 uses on websites, social media, and in business press in the first three months of 2018.
Top 20 buzzwords, and the number of Q1 uses:
From “thought leadership” to “move the needle.”
Speaking in tongues:
For “thought leaders” who remain “laser focused” on a few overused phrases, here’s a plea to retire jargon—in language that speaks to you.