Reading a business article recently, something I always knew was made apparent in stark relief. We all get stuck in the trap of using business jargon or repetitive language; it's almost as unavoidable as getting a cold. Additionally, every industry has their own language so when any given word or phrase "catches on" & is overused outside its natural discipline, it can sound really jarring. For example, about 10 years ago I frequently dealt with a client who was fond of using the word "interface." just not really in the way it was meant to be used. It was her favorite way to describe talking to another person [which only made me cringe when talking with her]. She would say something like "I always take a firm stand when interfacing with vendors." Why not just say "I always take a firm stand when talking to [or dealing with] vendors?" Why she did this was a mystery to many who dealt with her. An older woman, I think she was under the mistaken belief that it made her seem current, "hip &/or high tech." However, words & phrases like these can start to sound like "fingernails on a chalkboard" in the course of a day's work with someone.
Here's a 2012 list of words/phrases you might want to think twice about before using because like food, language has a "shelf-life:"
- Reach out
- It is what it is
- Circle back
- Cutting edge
"Circling back, I thought it was time to reach out to colleagues, leveraging observations about this area in order to reflect a disconnect when people speak with each other in the hopes that you will find more cutting edge ways to communicate that adds value to business discourse. It would be a real game-changer ; maybe it would even go viral!".