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  • Writer's pictureHannah Rooke

Buzzword bingo. Overused or misused words and phrases - part 2

Here's the second collection of those words and phrases I read and hear which are commonly used incorrectly. They're tools within the corporate language kit we use to help us feel or appear more knowledgeable but ironically demonstrate misunderstandings or misconceptions.

Future planning graphic with a clock and calendar list

Future/forward planning

Problem: A pet peeve as it’s tautologic, you can’t plan for the past.

Alternative: Planning

Example: Robust, forward planning allows us to better future-proof.

Suggested edit: Planning helps us improve and continue our success.

In many ways graphic - list

In many ways

Definition: There are lots of reasons why.

Problem: It’s a lazy summary and implies you don’t fully understand your argument. Detail the reasons instead.

Example: In many ways his writing was subpar.

Suggested edit: His writing was subpar because of spelling errors, incomplete arguments and a clunky structure.

Leverage graphic showing a weight on a lever with fulcrum


Definition: To influence people or a situation to give you better control.

Problem: Used incorrectly for the definition. Doesn’t represent plain English and feels very corporate.

Alternative: Use or remove entirely.

Example: We want to leverage the customer research to improve our service.

Suggested edit: We want to use the customer research to improve our service.

Share your favourite (or least favourite) examples below.

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