The 10 most cringeworthy jargon phrases you need to stop using in the office—because no one understands them anyway


Corporate America has become rife with confusing and offensive office jargon that is making communication more difficult in a post-pandemic world. According to a recent report from LinkedIn and Duolingo, professionals aged 18 to 76 identified the most overused and confusing phrases in U.S. offices.

 Phrases like "boiling the ocean" have become particularly problematic, as they are making it harder to communicate clearly between teams and geographies. Jargon is creating in-groups and out-groups, which can damage productivity and perpetuate generational divides. Experts suggest that it's better to use stories and metaphors instead of jargon to get a point across. Furthermore, using outdated and offensive jargon can create a fracture in the shared corporate identity, impacting professional growth opportunities and leaving some workers behind. 

The use of jargon in the workplace disproportionately affects those who are not native English speakers. This is particularly true for professionals from non-English speaking backgrounds, including two-thirds of Latino workers and those fluent in English as a second language. According to Dr. Wilson, this can create a sense of embarrassment and impostor syndrome, especially when they are the only ones in the room who do not understand what is being said. The heavy use of workplace jargon can also harm a person's sense of belonging and make them sound desperate to fit in, even if everyone else in the room understands the jargon. 

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