1. Touch base (meaning check back in or gauge progress);
2. Paradigm shift (meaning, loosely, a change of perspective);
3. “Shoot me an e-mail” (meaning “send”);
4. “Shoot me a memo” (“shoot me an e-mail’s” cousin, meaning draft up and send);
5. Lots of moving parts (meaning it is complicated and there is a lot involved);
6. Think outside the box (this one has been beaten to death, inside and outside the business industry. It suggests that there is a way of thinking fundamentally different from the way that everyone else “inside the box” thinks, that this way of thinking is somehow better, and that you should therefore try to do it. In my opinion, thinking, period, will often put you way ahead of the game. Likewise, new and different isn’t always better. And most importantly, if everyone is thinking outside the box, isn’t that the new box? Thinking outside the box seems to have gone the way of “alternative” music. Alternative to what?);
7. Corporate values (in the wake of Enron et al., this one has become sort of an oxymoron, and certainly nothing to aspire to);
8. Punt (this means give up or put off on someone else or defer to someone else. Kind of like in football. This one kind of grates on me, I am not sure why);
9. Take it to the next level (this one means what it seems like it means, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. At some point, you run out of “next” levels);
10. Giving 110% (also used and abused both inside and outside the business industry. For one thing, as a practical matter, it is impossible. I know what people are trying to say here, but literally, there is only 100 possible %, so giving 100 out of 100 possible percent is perfect, and therefore as good as anyone could expect. And really, when was the last time anyone gave a full 100%? Seriously!);
11. Run it to ground (Uh??? I have no idea);
12. “Run it up the flagpole.” (??????????????????????????????);
13. “It is what it is.” (this means…absolutely nothing. Think about it. At the very least, it is completely irrelevant, no matter what you are talking about or how you are using it. In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess to even having used this one, but not without feeling stupid).
What are your favorites?
(See Max Mallett, Brett Nelson, and Chris Steiner, “The Most Annoying, Pretentious, and Useless Business Jargon,” Forbes.com, http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-most-annoying–pretentious–and–useless-business-jargon).