Legal Blog

Read & Share: The Corporate Jargon that Irks Americans the Most

Corporate jargon defined

30,000 foot view To look at the overall goals and objectives rather than small details.
Action-item  A take-away task that needs to be completed in the near future.
All hands on deck  All employees are needed to complete a project.
Analysis paralysis  Overthinking a situation to the point that nothing actually gets accomplished.
Back-end  Essential work that goes into the creation of a product that a customer doesn’t see.
Bandwidth  Referring to the amount of time someone has available to spend.
Behind the 8 ball  Referring to being in a difficult situation.
Big Picture  The ultimate goal or main idea.
Boil an ocean To take on an impossible project or task.
Bring to the table  Referring to the skills or value that someone can bring to your company.
Buy-in  Accepting or committing to an idea or course of action.
Change agent A person who is the catalyst for business improvements or innovation.
Circle back  The notion to revisit a topic at a later time.
Deck  Shorthand for a set of PowerPoint presentation slides.
Deep dive  To look at the details of a project closely.
Disconnect (as a noun) A situation where expectations differ from reality.
Disruptive  Referring to the process of changing existing technology with something new.
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s  To be detail oriented and thorough in your tasks.
Drill down  To look further into the matter or get more details.
Go all in To put all of your energy or resources into something.
Heavy lifting  Bearing the burden of the most difficult and time-consuming work on a project.
High level  To explain a concept without getting into the small, technical details.
Holistic overview  To take into account other external factors that can affect an outcome.
I’ll ping you  Send someone a message using an online messaging system.
I’ll run that up the flagpole Moving the project on to the next appropriate person for approval.
Ideate  To think of and came up with new ideas.
In the weeds  When a task is too hard to accomplish because there are too many problems involved.
KPIs  Key Performance Indicators; points used to evaluate the performance of something or someone.
Learning (as a noun)  Knowledge gained from a conversation or past project.
Leverage  Manipulating a situation so someone can control it in their favor.
Low-Hanging fruit Tasks that are easy to accomplish or problems that can be easily solved that provide clear benefits.
Onboarding  Assimilating a new employee into an organization; introducing service to new customers.
Out-of-the-box  An idea that is unusual or new.
Put a pin in it  To delay discussion, engagement, or work on a project to another time.
Quick win  Something that can be done quickly that will provide a beneficial outcome.
Reinvent the wheel  To redo an existing process, idea, or way of thinking.
ROI  “Return on Investment” i.e. whether something is worth it.
Stack hands To imply that every team member is in it together.
Sync up  To meet with someone and touch base on an idea or topic.
Take it offline  To discuss something with someone in a separate time and place.
Touch base  To meet or talk with something about a specific issue.
Value-add  Benefits of a feature that provides value to customers.
Where/when the rubber meets the road  The time or place at which something matters the most.
Wordsmithing  To change, edit, or make a play on words.


How do you tell a college that you’ll email them when you find out if you have enough time to complete a project that requires a lot of work? “Hi (First Name), I will circle back with you once I evaluate the bandwidth that I have to complete the heavy lifting of this action-item.” Whether you realize it or not, office jargon is very much alive and well, and you probably even use it when you’re not in the office. Check out these interesting findings Verizon has assembled in a recent survey conducted on 1,000 working adults in the U.S.

Source: Verizon

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Mike Mercurio | | 301-575-0332

Michael N. Mercurio is a leading attorney in the field of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He serves as outside general counsel in buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in all business law and real estate law matters. As a strategic partner to firm clients, Mr. Mercurio regularly counsels entrepreneurial individuals and assorted entities on the many challenges, issues, and opportunities companies face throughout the business lifecycle—from start-up to eventual exit.







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