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Nov
22nd

Guide to Corporate Buzzwords, Part I

Author: Admin | Files under Buzzwords

Some coworkers and I compiled most of the words in this list while listening to people speak over the course of one month at one of my jobs. After about one month we were ready to kill ourselves so we had to stop.

When using these terms, it is important that you never use their actual English equivalent. For example, never say “talk” or “meet” when you could say “touch base” instead, because people might not understand you. I’m not kidding here. Sometimes it makes communicating difficult. I avoid talking like this whenever possible so as not to sound like a giant tool, but sometimes you have to use buzzwords or people will not understand you, as illustrated by the following actual conversation that took place one day at my first corporate job:

Me: “Hey, I need to meet with you for a few minutes when you have a sec.”
Them: “What?”
Me: “I have to ask you like two questions.”
Them: “…”
Me: *sigh* “We need to touch base for a sec.”
Them: “Ohhh! Sure! What did you want to touch base about?!”

The following is the beginning of a very long list of corporate buzzwords that will help you communicate with corporate drones when normal English fails.

Word Definition/examples
Touch base Verb – to communicate/talk/email/discuss

Ex: “Please touch base with Matt and find out how that
activity is set up.”

Connect Verb – to commuicate/talk/email/discuss

Ex: “Please connect with Matt and find out how that activity
is set up.”

Reach out Verb – to put forth effort (in order to communicate with someone)

Ex: “Please reach out and touch base with Matt and find
out how that activity is set up”

Disconnect Noun – Misunderstanding

Ex: You think a and I think b. It seems we’ve
had a disconnect.

Same page Noun – Where you are when you have a common understanding.

Ex:

Person 1: “A, B, and then C, right?”

Person 2: “Right. A, B, then C.”

Person 1: “Ok, we’re on the same page, then.

Ex. 2

Person 1: “Let’s touch base and make sure we’re on the
same page.”

Person 2: “Ok”

Offline Noun – outside of/after the current meeting/situation

Ex. “What you are talking about is outside the scope of
this meeting. Let’s continue talking about that offline.

Take-away Noun – information gained from a meeting

Ex.

Person 1: (during meeting) “This affects 1000 participants.”

Person 2: (at the end of meeting) “So the take-away is
that this affects 1000 participants?”

Person 1: Yes

Go grab Expression – “go get lunch.” It implies that you’re
going to bring it back and eat it at your desk while you work.

Ex.

Person 1: “I’m gonna go grab!”

Person 2: “I’m hungry, too! Let’s go grab!”

Working lunch Noun – Eating at your desk. (aka. the expected norm)

Ex.

Person 1: “Wanna go out for sushi?”

Person 2: “No, I’m taking a working lunch

Own Verb – to be responsible for a project

Ex.

Person 1: “This process doesn’t work. I need to yell at
someone! Who owns this process?”

Person 2: “Joe Schmoe owns it.”

On your plate Expression – where work is that is currently assigned to you

Ex.

Person 1: “What’s on your plate right now?”

Person 2: “Three issues I’m trying to debug.

Person 1: “Ok ok. I had something to assign and I just
wanted to see how much you had on your plate.

Capacity Noun – the ability to take on more work. It is important that
you never use this word with the article “a” or “the.”

Ex:

Person 1: “Do you have capacity to look at some of these
issues?”

Person 2: “No, I already have a lot on my plate.

Person 1: “Well I’m going to assign them to you, anyway.”

Ex 2:

Person 1: “Do you have capacity to look at some of these
issues?”

Grammar Police: “Did you just leave out an article??”

Leverage Verb – to use. In the corporate world you can pretty much “leverage”
anything you want

Ex.

Person 1: “We need to leverage our resources more effectively
to meet deadlines.

Person 2: “I’m going to leverage my lunch while you keep
talking.

Do you have a sec / minute for a quick question? Expression – “I need to talk to you for 30 minutes about
something”

Ex.

Person 1: “Do you have a second?”

Person 2: “(uh-oh…)”

Bulletproof Adjective – “well-constructed,” “not likely to
break”

Ex.

Person 1: “We need this program to be bullet proof. No
more system errors!”

State of the state Rhetorical Expression – “Condition/progress.” There
are no situations in which simply saying “state” wouldn’t
suffice equally as well, unless you are talking about an actual
state, like California.

Ex.

Person 1: “Let’s kinda get the state of the state on this
activity and then move forward.”

Person 2: “We’re almost done.

Shoot Verb – “send” (an email, sametime, instant message,
etc.)

Ex.

Person 1: “I have to run to a meeting now.

Person 2: “Well shoot me an email when you get back. I
have something to ask you
.”

Person 1: “Ok. Thanks!

Be sure to check out part II. It gets worse!

4 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. Kevin
    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:57:55
    #1

    Great site. Saw a reference for it on learnings.org, my favorite corporate buzzword dictionary. Keep it up guys.

  2. jesse james
    Dec 22, 2010 at 16:38:34
    #2

    FORGOT word OPPORTUNITY.. that is the worst buzz word of them all

  3. harvey
    Feb 10, 2011 at 13:08:35
    #3

    Action Items

  4. Asholios
    Aug 5, 2011 at 12:37:44
    #4

    Need “let me kick this off”… By saying blah blah.

    What i think when hearing this:
    Id like to kick you in the mouth for talking like that.

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