Navigating the business world with ease, grit and aplomb can be taxing at the best of times, but couple that with the plethora of jargon words that are thrown into the mix in the board room, marketing meetings and constant flurry of email threads, and the terrain can become almost impenetrable.

And it’s not just the team here at Pistachio in our Marlow office who have noticed this, many national news outlets have recently highlighted the top most disliked phrases being used with reckless abandon by our contemporaries, colleagues and industry leaders of late. So, as it’s a Monday, and we all need something to moan about on a Monday, we’ve picked our selection of the most overused – and irritating – examples of popular business jargon, and have compiled a handy breakdown of what each term means – or could mean. You can thank us later.

Close of play:

A much commonly used phrase that clearly refers to the end of the working day, but by using the term ‘play’ one can pretend that work is just a big game of competitive sport and thus softens the blow of knowing that you’re going to have to extend your working day to get said task completed by ‘close of play.’

It’s on my radar:

A passive aggressive term used by us all periodically throughout the week to confirm to our colleagues that we are in fact aware of something that we have clearly forgotten about. By exclaiming that ‘It’s on my radar’ we can instead enforce the notion that we are very busy and very important and we will get around to doing that other very important thing that we definitely did not forget about…

Agile working:

From agile working, to agile projects and agile communications, everything must be agile these days. Agility, agility, agility! What does this mean?! Must we all go about the working day hoping from foot to foot, dodging imaginary bullets whilst taking a two- hour nap in a communal nap pod before sending emails from our treadmill desks at 2am? Who knows, but just stay agile ok?

Blue sky thinking:

And oldie but a goodie – and much much loved by corporate types. Let’s all get our heads in the clear blue skies and THINK! Think freely from the constraints of practical life and just be REALLY clever and create AMAZING ideas – just like that! Just by saying let’s do some ‘blue sky thinking’ you too can be a blue-sky thinker! Or you can drink a few straight whiskey’s, scribble your ground-breaking idea on the back of a beer mat and then throw that idea around in the next team meeting, whatever works…

Square the circle:

A nouvelle way of saying – one assumes – to ‘think outside the box’, ‘mix it up’ ‘be a revolutionary’ ‘fix it, make it better’. When in reality it sounds like you’re about to mess up a perfectly good, and functioning, circle.

Touch base offline:

A favourite with the philosophical millennials amongst us – gently reminding us from their high (organically sourced) horses that you don’t need a Wi-Fi connection to communicate with each other. Which is actually a true and valid point, coffee anyone? Bloody Mary maybe?

Idea shower:

Maybe just call it a brainstorm? Or at least spend your next ‘idea shower’ coming up with a better phrase to use than this balderdash?

So now that you are all up to speed with the nations most annoying jargon, you can confidently go about your week grabbing that low hanging fruit, getting all your ducks in a row and making your way up the strategic staircase – good luck, we know you’ll smash it!

Want to know what we get up to when we’re not busting business jargon? Check out some of our latest work here.

Thanks for reading!