No, Thank You

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

I’m going to bend the rules slightly here and use phrases that can be termed “business speak”. (Well, one is a single word…)

The first is “leverage”, and I’m going bracket my dislike if this with “reach out”. I think that “leverage” is used primarily because it’s a more complex sounding word. “Reach out” is possibly used because of some management theory of the connotations about reaching for something and work involved in that, as well as the fact that once you have reached out for something you usually hold it and own it; there’s something tangible there. Both of these terms are used for the sake of it, though, in my opinion. They both have suitable and more simple alternatives, in terms of understanding, spelling and speaking. “Use” could suitably replace “leverage” and “ask” or “speak to” can suitably replace “reach out”.

There other business phrases that, again, sound fussy and difficult and do make you sound completely obsessed with your own importance. The ones I’ve thinking of our “deep dive”, “drill down” (although this is a technical phrase within the system I work with, where you can double click some data and it will show you what it was derived from) and “touch base”. Once one knows what these phrases mean, I can’t really apply the logic for me hating “leverage” and “touch base” to them. However, there are still suitable real English alternatives.

I’m going to ignore phrases like “blue sky thinking” simply because I have genuinely never heard them in the workplace first hand!

Trying to be misunderstood,
But it doesn’t do me any good.
Love the way they smiled at me.

Misunderstood by Robbie Williams

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