Warning: Stop Saying These Overused Words

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13 Apr Warning: Stop Saying These Overused Words

No one really likes business jargon. Why? Because it gets bastardized so quickly. Phrases like “drink the company koolaid” are so overused at this point that nobody knows what they really mean anymore. Although it may feel cool to be one of the first people to use a new term, or add it to your Twitter profile, there are better ways of communicating.

So I made a list of some of the most commonly overused words in business lexicon today. Some are new, some are oldies, but all are to be eliminated from your vocabulary immediately. I am sure there are plenty more I am missing, so feel free to add them in the comments.

Unicorn

What it means: a Billion dollar Company, generally referred to by investors referring to investing in startups.

The Good: It has stopped the madness of entrepreneurs saying, “I have the next billion dollar company”

The Bad: These same idiots are now saying, “I have the next Unicorn”

59245804Growth Hacking

Using modern technology to promote a business with a small budget. To the rest of us it sounds like marketing. More specifically marketing done very well on a small budget.

When you say it frequently, everyone immediately knows you are a wantrepreneur trying to command a higher premium as far as monetary or equity compensation. The reality is that the skill set growth hackers are pulling from is the same one used by other marketers for the last century.

Guru, Expert, Ninja, Wizard, etc…

These words have been bastardized enough. It is time to put them to sleep.

I still remember the exact moment I first saw “Social Media Guru” on a business card. I quickly looked him up and saw he had 29 Friends on Facebook and 311 Followers on Twitter. :(

Using any of these terms to descibe yourself is a contradiction. Especially when you use it in your Twitter profile! I am not a historian of martial arts, but I am pretty sure ninjas don’t go around handing out business cards that say ninja on them. Dumb.

If you have to say, it (or put it on your Twitter profile) it probably ain’t true

56546975Synergy

I think I speak for us all in saying we will all puke the next time we hear this word, especially from someone trying to make a deal that greatly favors them. You’re welcome for this meme ——>

Viral

This has one of the longest reigning places on this list, at least for me. It is used wrong more than any other word in business jargon. Want an example, viral video. As in, “I am going to make a viral video” or “we make viral videos”. The truth of virality is that is not forced, it just happens. Stop using it with the intent of making it happen, you sound like an idiot.

Optimize

Do I need to explain this one…

Like a Boss

This is a love hate relationship for me. I hate the most people use it, but I love this video…

Eric Rice
eric@trepscore.com