Tuesday, 6 December 2011

How to talk like a wanker [updated]

Want to talk like a wanker? Then here’s a list of phrases that will help define you, the most hated buzzwords of 2011, (along with the percentage of people who said they hated it):

  1. think outside the box (16%)
  2. circle back (15%)
  3. synergy (14%)
  4. it is what it is (13%)
  5. touch base (13%)
  6. at the end of the day (13%)
  7. let’s take this offline (12%)
  8. low-hanging fruit (11%)
  9. value-added (11%)
  10. proactive (10%)
  11. paradigm shift (9%)
  12. best practice (9%)
  13. going forward (8%)
  14. take it to the next level (7%)
  15. 30,000-foot view (or any other multi-thousand foot view) (7%)
  16. win-win (7%)
  17. on the same page (7%)
  18. leverage (6%)
  19. a lot on my plate (6%)
  20. robust (6%)
  21. work smarter (5%)
  22. impactful (4%)
  23. rockstar (4%)
  24. holistic (4%)
  25. no-brainer (4%)
  26. net-net (3%)
  27. do whatever it takes (3%)
  28. plus-up (2%)
  29. flawless execution (1%)

My own top five most-hated have to include “best practice,” “wow factor,” “quality” used to smuggle in conformity, “impact” used as a verb, and “thinking outside the box” used like it means something.

All of these are like nails on a blackboard for me.

And anyone who calls for that last is, by definition, not even capable of it.

[Hat tip Geek Press]

UPDATE:  More sewage:

  • “step change” … uughh!


  1. At this point in time I see a window of opportunity to go back to square one.

  2. OMG..thinking outside the box, it is apparent that I need to circle back, and touch base going forward.

    I have a lot on my plate and need to think smarter to get that impactful leverage on me old fella, to become the holistic wanker that best practice demands.

    Just have to watch me low hanging fruit!

  3. Equally annoying is when idiot sports commentators make up a word like "physicality" and it catches on.

  4. One other - frequently used by, I've noted, Maori, and their greenstone-wearing Uni-indoctrinated sympathiser Pakeha - "in terms of."

  5. Take ownership
    Stake holders
    Lets have a round table

  6. That excellent list is from the US and has some wanker-talk items I've never heard here, such as "net-net", but I bet it's close to a possible NZ list.

    It would be interesting to see the results if Stuff or the Listener - i.e. some outfit with lots of readers - conducted a similar survey here.

  7. It's our job to be fair
    For a fairer future
    Won't someone think of the children

  8. In the 1980s, in my opinion, the worst one was "Take a rain-check on the total situation!"
    Now the great irritant is using quantum to mean large when it means the opposite.
    There are a few others, "threepeat" "chilled out" "gravy train" "assimilation" "acid test" "whole scenario" etc... these just piss me off.

    Chris R

  9. "Dialogue" used as a verb. Death is too good for people who use it.

  10. They forgot "Customer Intimacy"

  11. I recently heard “best practice” used to support New Zealand conforming with an OECD definition unilaterally decided by bureaucrats in Paris.

  12. The one I keep hearing from the US "thanks for reaching out to me".

    Always makes me think of a reach around.

  13. Sturminator threatened me with a jug skull if I'd dropped a "joined-up thinking" into a conversation last Thursday night. I was recounting a story about a woman who wanted to do a "page-turn" of a draft presentation with me.

    Impactful - One of the AD's I worked with in Aus used to put 'impacting' in place of 'affecting'. Fortunately, we saved that from going in the final presentation, which would have "surprised on the upside" those of you who would care.

    But I was shown this masterpiece while working at Walker Wireless in 2001 - still good 10 years later.

  14. Anything wit 'inappropriate' in it!

  15. "burning platform"
    "premiumization" (only ever Americanised)

    and I like Alexei Sayle's take on the word "workshop" - "anyone who uses the word "workshop" who isn't engaging in light engineering is a twat"

  16. An iconic list.

  17. "At the end of the day, I'll do whatever it takes to circle round and think outside the box....."


  18. "Across developments/the story" is the media one that makes me cringe.

  19. "Historic", or "Once in a lifetime" in relation to NZ hosting/winning the RWC.

    Irregular yes, but unless you live in Swaziland, 24 years is not "Once in a lifetime"

  20. What about in Auckland every bit of wood or concrete is "iconic"; can't quite see the small picture or religious image

  21. What a thrilling post. It is extremely chock-full of useful information. Thanks for such a great info. AlloTalk


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