6 Corporate Phrases You Should Permanently (& Immediately) Ban from Your Office Vocab

Circling back. (See that wagon on fire…?)

Hey! Remember, as a kid, when you had dreams of a career being a noble calling? And then corporate America offered you a 401k and dental and before you know it, boom, you’re sitting in a conference room with industrial gray carpet waiting on a Webinar?

Yeah, me too.

There are small ways to loosen the knot on your tie (or unbutton the top of your blouse) when no one’s looking. Make a small start by promising to ban some of that useless “corporate speak” from your vocabulary. Here’s a list of some of the worst business jargon:


Enough with the buzzwords! Before you catch yourself asking your colleague if that project is in the company’s wheelhouse, grab your Styrofoam cup of coffee and take a sip, letting it scald the word right off your tongue.

Circle Back

Look, we don’t live in pioneer days anymore, so there’s no need to circle the wagons to protect our friends, family and livestock. Unless you want to sound like the guy from “Office Space,” let’s all agree to replace the phrase with, “I’ll get back to you on this … in a month … or never.”

Ping Me

Ever watched “The Office” with Andy Bernard — the frat-tie-wearing Cornell grad with anger issues — say: “Beer me?” Don’t be “that guy.” Skip the pinging … unless you’re a computer network.


We hate sentences that begin with: “According to the dictionary…” BUT, according to the dictionary, the term scalable means capable of being easily expanded or upgraded on demand. So how about we use those words instead of scalable? Save the term for rock climbing.

Think Outside the Box

In the words of Chandler Bing, who, incidentally, spent the better part of an episode of “Friends” actually in a large wooden box: “Could that be anymore cliche?”


It’s tempting, sometimes, to completely turn into robots in an age of iPhones and connected smart devices. But, no, you don’t have the bandwidth to do something. You have the time to get it done. Or maybe you don’t.

So, c’mon, don’t drink the corporate Kool-Aid. You’re better than that. Let’s all circle back and agree we all have the bandwidth to keep these words/phrases out of our wheelhouses.

What’s some of the jargon your annoying coworker casually throws around in emails?

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