5 More Meaningless Business Buzzwords

July 23rd, 2010

"I'll give 110% as I pre-plan to take your business to the next level. I have the bandwidth and the learning."

I’ve talked before about business jargon on more than one occasion.  But the worst offenders are the words and phrases that are completely meaningless.  What do I mean by “meaningless?”

Here’s what I mean:

I work in an international business setting.  We use English as the common language.  When these meaningless phrases come up, I usually have to “simplify” it.

I know people want to sounds smart, but think of what you’re saying sometimes.  If someone asks you, “What does that mean?” and you draw a blank..chances are you’re using meaningless business jargon.

I thought I’d throw out 5 of the worst offenders:


This one boggles the mind.  Pre-plan?  Seriously.  Plan means to make a plan.  Are you telling me that you re planning to plan?  Another meaningless phrase, probably invented by the same guy who thinks that all-day meetings get results.

A: Let’s pre-plan and then plan and then have a meeting about the plan.

B: This calls for immediate discussion.

Instead say: plan

Give 110%

Maybe it’s because I hear this in sports a lot.  100% is the HIGHEST you can go.  I know someone is thinking that 110% means to give more than you can.  But dude…you can only give what you can, nothing more.

Instead say: give my best; do all I can

Take it to the next level

I seriously have no idea what this means.  It’s supposed to mean “make something better” but actually it doesn’t mean jack. Really..what is the “next level”?  What does it look like? What constitutes the “next level”?  Hell..no one knows. And no one wil tell you either because it takes away from the ability to ”motivate” and “sound inspiring” when really you sound stupid.

Instead say: improve


Do you have the bandwidth for this project?  I don’t know.  Are you asking me to host your web site?  I AM NOT A COMPUTER!  I AM NOT A SERVER.

Instead say: capability


“I had a big learning from that project.”


Some guy sent this to me one day and I thought English was his second language.  So, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  But when I looked at who sent it.  Do you think he was a non-native speaker of English?


He was using a fun new buzzword: learning as a noun.

Communicating clearly means sounding like you graduated from high school.  “Learning” doesn’t make the cut.

Instead say: I learned a lesson


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