Buzzwords Smart People Won’t Say

Image of an old typewriter.

Worn-out expression: Think outside the box. Anyone who says, "Think outside the box," isn't groovy.

When I grew up we said cool things like:

  1. Far Out: This is a souped-up version of cool.
  2. Boogie: Dancing.
  3. Right on: I agree.
  4. Dig, dig it, or can you dig it: I understand or do you understand.
  5. Groovy: Another word for cool only more cooler.
  6. Out of sight. Beyond cool, groovy, or far out.
  7. Psyche: I was joking. This is a serious post. Psyche!

Buzzwords smart people won’t say:

  1. New normal. (No comment.)
  2. Synergy. If you plan to work together say, “We’re working together.”
  3. Circle back. The translation of, “Let’s circle back on this,” is, I don’t want to talk about this, and I don’t plan to.
  4. Take this offline. Give me a break. We do everything online. The only thing you do offline is go to the restroom. Oops, I take it back. I bet you take your phone to the restroom. You’re never offline.
  5. Pivot. How important do we have to sound? The word is change or adjust. The only place to pivot is in a horror movie.
  6. Unprecedented. Nothing is unprecedented. Compared to the Spanish Flu, Covid is precedented.
  7. Think outside the box. Anyone who says, “Think outside the box,” isn’t groovy.
  8. Bandwidth. I don’t have enough bandwidth. You’d have more bandwidth if you stopped using stupid words.
  9. Deep Dive. I’ve used several of the expressions on this list. Thankfully, I haven’t stooped so low as to take a Deep Dive into ridiculous buzzwords.
  10. Thought leader. This one is a cousin to influencer. I’ve been asked if I’m a thought leader. I don’t know, I’ve never thought of referring to myself as a thought leader.

What’s the most annoying buzzword that should be retired?