'Outside the box' tops worst corporate jargon list

Tired of hearing "outside the box?" How about "mission-critical?"

If so, you're not alone. In a poll of 5,000 CareerBuilder users, "outside the box" came in first as the most overused office jargon, with 31 percent of respondents choosing it as their least-liked phrase.

Here are the top 10 corporate offenders:

Outside the box
Low hanging fruit
Synergy
Loop me in
Best of breed
Incentivize
Mission-critical
Bring to the table
Value-add
Elevator pitch

"If you're anything like me, corporate jargon makes your skin crawl. But in today's workplace, it's sometimes hard to get away from it," wrote CareerBuilder blogger Amy Chulik.

Workplace jargon, she notes, is intended to help convey original thought in a fresh and non-technical way, but done incorrectly ends up alienating and aggravating others "outside the loop."

"Somehow we got the idea that the right phrase will make our ideas sound better," wrote CBS News " MoneyWatch " blogger Suzanne Lucas. But, "what's so darn bad about the box? Boxes are good."

How can we remain fresh and innovative without falling back on silly "office speak?"

Simple, says Chulik. Say what you mean and mean what you say. "Sometimes, simpler words actually give us room to add more context around a situation," she wrote.

For instance, instead of saying, "It's mission-critical that we do this," simply say, "It's important that our company do this to reach our Q4 sales goals."

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