How Annoying is Business Jargon?: Business writing is most effective when writers avoid over-used phrases that others find annoying, useless, and pretentious. Bloggers today are particularly fond of attacking business jargon. A quick Google search reveals such titles as “16 Business Jargon Words We Never, Ever Want to Hear Again” and “These 10 Office Phrases Need to Die a Swift Death.” Writers at are especially unhappy about the spread of such jargon: “No longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.”

Your Task: The following are ten words or phrases that bloggers have particularly found egregious. For each of these, critique these phrases and explain what might be the best common definition of each of them.

1. thinking outside the box

2. circle back

3. peel back the layers of the onion

4. at the end of the day

5. drinking the Kool-Aid

6. right-sizing

7. blue-sky thinking

8. move the needle

9. tiger team

10. let’s solution this


Analyze the facts of the assignment

Determine the questions or issues of the assignment

Apply the applicable rules

Conclude with decisions and revisions for the assignment

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