On Friday, I sat in a meeting led by the CEO of my company. I believe him to be an intelligent man and a good business leader, but by the end of the hour-long meeting, I was ready to scratch out my eyeballs. He loves his business clichés. He used every one of the ones I listed below...Every. One.
I know he's not alone. The business world is adept at taking a catchphrase or buzzword and overusing it until anyone who hears it wants to hurl. And, because of that, they've also become meaningless noise or, really, a pause in the talk to collect one's thoughts.
I propose we start a coalition to end the cliché madness. This is a call-to-arms, people!
- "Push the envelope"
- "Think outside the box"
- "At the end of the day"
- "Have an impact on" (when the speaker means "have an effect on")*
- "When the rubber hits the road"
- "Step up to the plate"**
- "Work smarter, not harder"
- "Paradigm shift"
- "24/7" (especially when it's not literal)
- "Team player"
* "Impact" means "collision" and nothing more. You can have a metaphorical impact, such as "my third-grade teacher impacted my life," but it has to be huge, as if the third-grade teacher collided with your life path and changed it.
** The only people who get to say "step up to the plate" are ones talking about a baseball or softball player who is doing just that.
And I'm sure there are plenty more. Add more to the comments section of you'd like. And, please, do your part to squash these and other nonsense phrases.