Corporate clichés: Triteness, banality, the whole 9 yards

A glut of corporate babble — turns of phrase that might turn your stomach.

A glut of corporate babble — turns of phrase that might turn your stomach

I cannot read an e-mail, sit through a meeting or even ride the elevator without slamming face first into a corporate cliché. Is my irritation with these tired expressions simply a character flaw?

I decided to ask some of the best communicators I know to weigh in on the topic. I asked them, “What cliché irks you most?” I was stunned by the number of responses I received and the speed in which they rolled into my inbox.

After collecting all the comments, the clichés clustered into three categories:

Clichés that make us giggle

“I’ll circle back with you on that.” Every time I hear this, images of cowboys on horses pop into my head. And for some weird reason, this phrase sounds exactly like something Mister Ed would say to Wilbur.

“At the end of the day…” This one irks my friend Clare, a writer and professor. She says, “How about at the beginning of the day? Isn’t that a more productive time for a lot of people?”

“Thinking outside the box” gives graphic designer Diana a “facial tic.”

“Do you have the shelf space for this project?” Yes, and I also have the bandwidth for it.

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