By Sarah Lutz, PR and Social Media Intern

It happens to almost everyone. You’re in a meeting or talking with your coworkers and all of a sudden you hear it: the stereotypical jargon. You’re not quite sure what it means, but you’ve heard it enough to know you don’t really need to know the meaning.

Or maybe even—*gasp*—you are the one using the aforementioned lingo! I know I’ve made this mistake a time or two (or twenty).

You can’t stop others from dropping unnecessary jargon, but you can help yourself. Read on to find out which words to leave out of your lexicon.

Really, Anything that Ends with “-ize”: Let’s emphasize that we need to recognize the need to prioritize to not utilize the generalized words ending with “-ize” that do not harmonize, customize or optimize a message, nor capitalize on the creative visualizations of a team meant for strategizing … and that’s just to summarize my agonized feelings.

Outside the Box/Out of the Box: Whomever uses this word probably hasn’t thought outside the box since they suggested your office go to restaurant *insert swanky new restaurant name here* for lunch instead of the usual workplace go-to.

Innovation/Innovative: The shiny and new idea that probably isn’t that shiny or new.

Effective/Effectiveness: The thesaurus was literally made to make your words be more effective (*inset* productive, powerful, compelling, direct, efficient, etc.).

Leading: Using the word “leading” is the leading cause of office eyerolls.

Touch Base: Somehow, whenever these words are uttered, we never seem to actually “touch base.” Maybe by saying let’s talk about the concept or strategy, it’ll actually get done.

Circle Back: Same as “touch base.” How about we talk now instead of circling back to it?

Impact: A term used when people are unsure if they should use effect or affect. Hint: The impact of this word will negatively impact people’s response.

Engage: Let’s hear less about how you need to engage your audience and more about how you plan to actually do so.

Going Forward: We’re talking about the future, right?

Well, going forward, at least we can be sure the future may hold more overused jargon, but it won’t be coming from me!

Want to dive deeper? Check out these other articles on the subject: