Phrases to KILL in 2022

Several office jargon phrases overlap on a purple background. They contain, "circle back," "pick your battles," and more.

We spend all day, every day, in meetings, emailing, at industry events, or knocking out some awesome work to fit client needs. That means a lot of our time is spent with written or verbal communication, and that makes sense, since we’re, y’know, an integrated communications agency.

Still, with all that talk buzzing around, we’ve started to notice (and we’re sure you have, too) there are a bunch of office jargon phrases that people just…spit out. Like Mean Girls word vomit style. What do they mean? No one knows. But they sure as hell keep showing up in conversations.

That’s why we’re starting a movement to kill unwanted words. Think of us as your local buzzword exterminator. Ready to help us out? Cut the words and phrases below from your vocab.

1. Circle Back

Quick question: what the hell are we all talking about when we say this? Are we driving in a roundabout?

It’s like we all simultaneously forgot how to just say, “I’ll call you about this later” or “I’ll text you when I’ve got an update.” Those options sound way more like an actual human being and less like a corporate robot. Stop circling. Start talking.

Better Phrases

  • I’ll call you later.
  • I’ll be in touch.
  • Let’s schedule a meeting to talk about this next week.

2. Move the Needle

Unless you’re having a hands-free audio call in your car and talking about how you’re speeding up to pass the jackass in front of you going ten under, this phrase has no place in a meeting.

Better Phrases:

  • Make some progress
  • Crush this shit
  • Make it WORK (thanks, Tim Gunn)

3. On My Radar

Out of the car, into the…air force? Battleship? The more we think about these, the more they all reek of toxically masculine old white dudes. In a corporate setting? Surprise, surprise.

Better Phrases

  • I’m working on that.
  • I’ve got that on my list.
  • I’ll get it to you ASAP!

4. Low-hanging Fruit

We really don’t want to think about the old white men with this one so…we’ll just skip to the alternatives. Ew.

Better Phrases

  • Quick wins (it’s a buzzy phrase, too, we know, but it’s so much less gross sounding)
  • Easiest targets
  • Things that make the most sense to go after

5. See What Sticks

This one’s the shortened version of “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.” We’ve also heard it as just “throw spaghetti at the wall.” Listen to us: your walls look great. Please stop assaulting them with noodles.

Better Phrases

Now that we’ve come up with alternatives, let’s all promise not to use these terms again. Can’t get enough? Click here to download our Office Jargon Bingo card for that next long meeting you’re in. It’s guaranteed to lighten the mood.

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