What we say in the office matters. In conversations during a meeting, talking to clients--there's always a balance between sounding like you know what you're talking about, picking up on trendy words, and avoiding the dreaded buzzwords that have been drained of all buzz. These are my current top picks for the ones you should wipe from your vocabulary.
1. I see what you did there
It was funny the first 4,534 times people used this on social media. And, in many ways, it still is funny. But we now gloss right over the phrase and it's lost all momentum.
2. I know, right?
This little phrase has been around the block a few times. I see it in emails, I hear it in person. Not to be the overused word police or anything, but this one stopped being useful around the year 2004. It doesn't really add anything to a conversation.
The word "cool" stopped being (er) cool in the '90s. Then, someone resurrected it and we can't stop using it. (I'm saying we because I'm guilty of using the words and phrases on this list too.) My problem with saying cool so much, even though it is affirming and nice, is that we need to figure out which word to use instead so, you know, we can progress as a society.
I'm going to have to start begging on this one. Please. Stop. Saying. Really? I hear people say this word with a question mark so many times per day, I almost want to say...really?
This one is the kissing cousin to both the question "Really?" and perhaps a truncated version of the phrase "I know, right?" It works like this: You say a phrase, then you pause, then you say right. "I'm going to launch my app at the next conference, right" is a phrase people actually say. It's annoying because, in casual conversation, it's unnecessary. If you are in a meeting and you keep saying "right" after every phrase, as Mark Zuckerberg did during a recent Congressional hearing, you're not helping. Please stop, right.
Not sure where this one originated, or if you use it yourself, but I still hear it once in a while. It's a bit weak because it's an attempt to affirm someone and sound trendy at the same time. It doesn't really work, especially since it was a buzzword back about 20 years ago.
Fourteen million. That seems like the number of times I've heard people say "perfect" in an office setting. I get it, things are peachy. We're all synced up. But the word is so overused it's not even funny anymore. Also, it's not even remotely useful as a word, and there must be some alternatives. How about bingo, rad, gotcha, or super? OK, maybe not.
7. The bomb
Apart from getting you flagged on social media, this term is also extremely outdated. I know people are often using it sarcastically, but even using it that way is now trite and old.