Aug 8, 2017
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Nixed: Entrepreneurs Share the Jargon Words They Can't Stand

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This story appears in the July 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

While some people spew out jargon like it is their job, for many, on the receiving end it just comes out as mumbo jumbo that makes little sense.

Below four entrepreneurs share their least favorite jargon words and phrases.

Related: Why Jargon Is Bad for Your Business — and How To Eliminate It

“It’s written on our office wall and crossed out. We’re an app you can use to order alcohol, which means we operate in a highly regulated industry — one that makes and sells a controlled substance, and generates quite a bit of excise revenue for government at all levels. You don’t disrupt that.” 

— Nicholas Rellas, co-founder and CEO, Drizly

Related: What It’s Like Working at a Jargon-Obsessed Company

“As in ‘It’s a top-to-top only, so I’ll debrief you after the meeting.’ It reads as elitist and signals that if you’re not at the top, you can’t bring value to the organization — which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve found that the best way to discourage jargon is with humor. We obviously overuse offending phrases in meetings to point out the ridiculousness, and before we know it the phrase dies out.”

— Nicole Bernard Dawes, founder and CEO, Late July

“If one thing died every time someone said it in business, there would not be a single carbon-based organism alive in Silicon Valley.”

— Chieh Huang, CEO, Boxed

Related: 10 Misused Words That Make Smart People Look Stupid

“Internally and in the industry, Sabra uses ‘carrier; to refer to anything — a carrot, a chip — you use to deliver hummus to your mouth. It’s so common that at sampling events, Sabra staffers have asked people to ‘choose a carrier and a topping.’ That befuddles everyone. So I’ve banned ‘carrier’ from anything that might reach a consumer — especially social media. We just name the food item. 

— Ryan Saghir, director of digital marketing, Sabra

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