You know business jargon. Those little expressions like touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice, join a tiger team, etc., once solely used by consultants, consultants and business-school types, but now used by everyone. “Jargon masks real meaning,” said Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.” Forbes recently assembled a “Jargon Madness” bracket similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament. The bracket featured 32 robust expressions and the magazine empowered readers to reach out and vote to identify the single most annoying example of business jargon. The champion is: “Drinking the Kool-Aid.”

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