10 of the most annoying corporate jargon phrases that you should never use at work

“Let’s socialise this” and  “content is king” both made the list

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The Independent Online

Which is more annoying: “Let’s socialise this” or “content is king”?

Both make a list of most annoying corporate jargon compiled by a marketing expert.

Corporate jargon is often used to make something seem more impressive than it actually is, according to Michael Sugden, chief executive of the advertising agency VCCP. He thinks the use of corporate jargon and analogies has ballooned in the recent years.

“For purveyors of meeting bingo this is only good news. For the rest of us meetings have degenerated in to a quagmire of nonsensical verbal piffle,” he said in an article for Marketing magazine.

He put together a list of the most irritating metaphors to have been adopted at work.

Popular phrases such as “think outside the box”, which dates back to the early seventies or “I may have a window for you”, used by busy, arrogant managers, made his list.

The vague statement “content is king”, a phrase first used by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1996, ranked eight on the list. According to Sugden the metaphor made a comeback thanks to its equally infuriating and unclear addition: “If content is king, distribution is queen.”

In at number three “let’s socialise this” could simply be replaced by talking, while “let’s boil the ocean” became the corporate phrase to suggest something is too complicated.

According to Sugden, we hide behind corporate “jibber-jabber” to make something obvious sound more complicated and smarter than it really is.

“My suspicion is our subconscious is at play. We use these phrases to make the obvious and straightforward sound cerebral and exciting.  After all, if you talk in a forthright manner you sound like you’re from Yorkshire,” Mr Sugden said.

A 2013 survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management found that corporate jargon is used in nearly 65 per cent of offices with some 23 per cent of workers consider it to it to be pointless irritation.  At 57 per cent "thinking outside the box” was the most overused metaphor followed by "going forward"  and "let's touch base".

If you want to banish corporate jargon, these are the 10 things you should never say at work:

10. Think outside the box

9. I may have a window for you

8. Content is king

7. Let’s not boil the ocean

6. Level playing field

5. Let’s workshop this

4. Shift the dial

3. Let’s socialise this

2. Fail forward

1. Growth hacking - According to the marketing specialist the phrase was first used by entrepreneur and startup advisor Sean Ellis in 2010, but very few know what it means exactly.

Although there is no real definition to the buzzword "growth hacking" is described as the process of finding the right trick that allows for accelerated growth.