The World of Business as Reflected in English Language Buzzwords, Second Edition
Austin, Texas, June 17, 2015– The Global Language Monitor has announced the Top Business Buzzwords of the Year, for Global English, the world’s pre-eminent language of commerce.
“It is often noted that the world of business includes its own specialized vocabularly, and this can certainly be found in the English language, the business language of the planet,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “The Top Trending Business Buzzwords of 2015 represent some six continents, which continues to confirm the ever-expanding nature of the English language. This is the second annual ranking,”
GLM’s Word of the Year and Business Buzzwords of the Year rankings are based upon actual word usage throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion people. To qualify for these lists, the words, names, and phrases must be found globally, have a minimum of 25,000 citations. and the requisite ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ of usage. Depth is here defined as appearing in various forms of media; breadth that they must appear world-over, not limited to a particular profession or social group or geography.
Top 50 Business Buzzwords
Rank, Previous Rank, Change, Business Buzzword, Comment
2015 2013 Change Business Buzzword Comment
1 1 0 Content — Far and away the No. 1 Business Buzzword leader
2 37 35 Net-Net – Consider a sportswriter for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team: “The net-net for the Nets was the netting of the final shot.”
3 10 7 Big Data — Soon Human Knowledge will be doubling every second. ’Big’ does not begin to describe what’s coming at us.
4 19 15 At-the-end-of-the-day — More likely the end of the quarter or fiscal year
5 2 -3 Social Media — Reality: Social media impacts less than 15% of the Web
6 15 9 Offline — ‘I’ll be offline’. The statement is meaningless unless one includes cell phones, tablets, smarty TVs, not to mention all atomic clocks.
7 41 34 Face time– Before it was a product, it was a meeting with a C-Level executive.
8 9 1 Ping — High tech lingo seeping into the mainstream; now it means ‘get back to you’. Originally, a tool to send message packets to a network address to measure the time & quality of the response.
9 44 35 Rock-and-a-hard-place — A supposedly intractable situation though it usually gets back on track (Our ‘between Iraq and a hard place’ is being replaced because of the on-going political situation}
10 20 10 Win-Win Much — more positive than tie-tie or lose-lose
11 35 24 As if it was — Used some four times more than the correct, ‘as if it were’. You know, conditional voice.
12 7 -5 Utilize (rather than use) — Please deflate the diction and utilize the word ‘use’
13 5 -8 Literally — Principally used in non-literal situation, e.g., “Literally, an explosion of laughter”.
14 11 -3 Any noun used as a verb — To concept. To ballpark, and the like ….
15 6 -9 Guru — Someone moderately skilled in a subject or particular field (cf. ‘rocket scientist’ or ‘brain surgeon’).
16 42 26 Re-purpose — Finding a new use for an old ‘solution. Unfortunately anything thing can be re-purposed, including your job (or yourself).
17 8 -9 Robust — Applies to oh-so-many products: software, tablets (computer and otherwise), coffee, perfume, mileage, and hundreds of others
18 38 20 Value-add — P+E+VA, where Product (is P) + Enhancement (is Ε ), and Value add (is VA)
19 4 -15 Transparency — Remains a goal far from corporate reality; perhaps a handy scale would be 1} Opaque, 2} Translucent, 3) Transparent.
20 12 -8 Seamless — Seldom actually seamless (Cf. Obamacare website), often merely ‘seemless’ or meaningless
21 3 -18 Sustainability — No. 1 Word in 2007; have been rising in BizBuzz every year
22 51 29 Hashtag — The number-sign and pound- sign grows more powerful every day.
23 16 -7 Bandwidth — Measurement of electronic communications devices to send and receive information with upper and lower limits
24 40 16 Glass is half-full — Used nine times more that glass is half empty …
25 22 -3 Pro-active — Evidently better than amateur-active
26 46 20 Quick-and-dirty — Cited tens of thousands of times; we prefer ‘quick-and-clean’
27 18 -9 Synergy — The interaction of two efforts that result in a greater return than the sum of the two
28 14 -14 The Cloud — Everything (and every one) now apparently ‘lives in the cloud’ though networking clouds pre-date the web by a decade or two
29 36 7 In the Cloud — Yes, dwelling within the Cloud merits a special mention.
30 21 -9 Game changer — A step way below a paradigm-shift but still usually an exaggeration nonetheless.
31 48 17 Touch base — Another baseball allusion: if you don’t actually touch the base you are ‘called out’. Cf Cricket allusions, such as using ‘sticky wicket ‘ for a quandary.
32 13 -19 Moving Forward — From the results of those countless ‘moving forwards’, moving sideways might be more appropriate
33 23 -10 Rock Star — What’s the hierarchy among Guru, Rocket Scientist, Brain Surgeon, and Rock Star?
34 39 5 Future proof — In reality an impossible feat because it assumes you are cognizant of future events; in Marketing, just another day of concepting.
35 47 12 Push the envelope — A phrase few actually understand; Originally a descriptor of breaking through the sound barrier by X-Series Test Pilots (e.g., X-15).
36 33 -3 Ballpark — Another name for a ‘guesstimate’ (another baseball allusion).
37 31 -6 Multi-task — Swapping in and out of tasks quickly is the key to multi-tasking not doing many things as once which actually decreases productivity (as imagined by Dave Nelson and other tech industries leaders in the 1970s).
38 30 -8 110% — We believe it’s time to synchronize the exertion scale. As a hiring manager, how do you compare 110% from an Ivy school with an exertion level of 130% from the Big Ten?
39 26 -13 Resonate — Produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound, belief or emotion
40 29 -11 Deliverable — An output, product, result, or outcome; a term of great flexibility.
41 27 -14 Monetize — The attempt to transmute Internet lead into gold.
42 34 -8 Flounder — A ship might ‘founder’ along New England’s rocky coastline. Over time the act of foundering became collated with flounder the fish. Your grasp of the language is telegraphed by this confusion.
43 32 -11 Rocket science –One step up (or down) from a guru; equivalent to a Brain surgeon).
44 17 -27 New paradigm == Revolutionary new ideas that change the then-existing worldview; think Copernicus, think Newton, think Einstein, most definitely not your next product.
45 28 -17 Double Down — To double an investment in an already risky proposition.
46 43 -3 Brain surgery — One step up (or down) from a guru; equivalent to a Rocket Scientist.
47 45 -2 Bleeding edge — Leading edge of the leading edge (top ten per cent).
48 50 2 Low-hanging fruit — Easy pickin’s for the sales force; unfortunately, obsolete since 2008
49 24 -25 30,000 foot level — Let’s decide if we are viewing the topic from the 30,000-, 40,000-, or 100,000 foot level. Airlines typically fly at a 35,000 foot cruise level
50 49 -1 Herding cats — Used in high tech circles for several decades regarding controlling headstrong engineers, a seemingly impossible task.
51 25 -26 Out-of-the-Box (experience) — OOBE is evermore important to the marketing of consumer electronic devices.
This study is updated from earlier in the year.
GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 375,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.
About the Global Language Monitor
In 2003, The Global Language Monitor (GLM) was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul J.J. Payack on the understanding that new technologies and techniques were necessary for truly understanding the world of Big Data, as it is now known. Previous to this Payack was the founding president at yourDictionary.com, and a senior executive for a number of leading high tech companies.
Today, from its home in Austin, Texas GLM provides a number of innovative products and services that utilize its ‘algorithmic services’ to help worldwide customers protect, defend and nurture their branded products and entities. Products include ‘brand audits’ to assess the current status, establish baselines, and competitive benchmarks for current intellectual assets and brands, and to defend products against ambush marketing.
These services are currently provided to the Fortune 500, the Higher Education market, high technology firms, the worldwide print and electronic media, and the global fashion industry, among others.
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