The Buzzsaw, an online tool that strips the buzzwords out of press releases, speeches and blog posts, today announces its awards for the worst jargon of 2020.
The top 15 list is based on frequency of submissions from editors and correspondents, principally in Australia, the UK and the US.
The Buzzsaw is compiled and maintained by PR strategist Hamish Thompson who has worked with more than 150 businesses worldwide to promote better communication.
Paste a press release or speech into the Buzzsaw and the document is checked against a database of thousands of buzzwords and clichés. The document is returned with all matches struck through in red.
The Buzzsaw is used by thousands of organisations worldwide.
The 2020 Buzzsaw Hall of Shame (Comments below are supplied by judges).
- ‘Curated’. Judge’s comment: “A word that has been brutalised by Hipster culture. Google practically anything – potatoes, burgers, you name it – and there’ll be a curated list somewhere in the world. To make it worse, lists are often ‘carefully curated’, which is tautologous.”
- ‘Content’. Judge’s comment: “Second only to the vacuum of space as the emptiest thing in the universe. It’s like calling literature or journalism ‘words’. It’s the high watermark in the commoditisation of writing.”
- ‘Disambiguate’. Judge’s comment: “A word that rather cleverly obscures the thing it seeks to clarify. Like spraying mud on windows to clean them.”
- ‘Human Capital’. Judge’s comment: “The latest in the personnel department’s march towards balance sheet.”
- ‘The new normal’. Judge’s comment: “Unfortunately it is catching on. I get hundreds of emails a week that reference this phrase.”
- ‘In the time of Covid’. Judge’s comment: “Gabriel Garcia Marquez it ain’t.”
- ‘Reach out’. Judge’s comment: “My standard response is ‘back off’.”
- ‘Circle back’. Judge’s comment: “Sigh. Incoming Halley’s Comet press release.”
- ‘Ideation’. Judge’s comment: “A bold attempt to make a bad idea sound better than it is by diverting our attention.”
- ‘Bake’. Judge’s comment: “Please stop using this as a noun. It is a loaf or a cake. It is not a bake.”
- ‘Fake news’. Judge’s comment: “An oxymoron of such heft that only a moron could coin it. Unfortunately it has caught on.”
- ‘Mainstream media’. Judge’s comment: “A tedious blamefest, thinly disguising a lack of ability to debate properly.”
- ‘We remain cautious’. Judge’s comment: “On a quarterly basis, listed companies invite their advisors to visit them and help them draft their financial results statement, including the outlook statement. These three opaque words are the most overused and expensive a company will ever buy.”
- ‘Going forward….’. Judge’s comment: “I long for the day someone writes ‘going backward’.”
- ‘Solutions’. Long-time Hall of Shame member, best exemplified by the sticker company that describes itself as ‘a global leader in adhesive labelling solutions’.
‘Prepone’: Judge’s comment: “A word that seems to mean that something has been brought forward, potentially resulting in a missed flight, etc.”
‘Best’: Judge’s comment: “As a sign-off on an email, this feels really ill-judged. If you can’t be bothered to say ‘best wishes’ or ‘best regards’, it’s not a great start, is it?”
‘Preneur’: Judge’s comment: “Rule of thumb: if someone describes themselves as an entrepreneur, they probably aren’t. Worse still ‘cakepreneur’, ‘burgerpreneur’, etc. Fun game: try putting ANY word in front of preneur and googling it. Chances are, there is one.”
‘Awesome’: Judge’s comment: “Not since the devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar, has something devalued as much as the word ‘awesome’. To be full of awe in the presence of a tea towel or poached egg is setting a very low bar.”
Please login with linkedin to commentThe Buzzsaw
me&u, Australia’s first and leading mobile ordering and payment platform, has appointed Clementine Churchill as Head of Marketing as they continue to drive rapid growth and expansion in Australia and new international markets. A highly experienced marketing leader and recognised industry thought leader, Churchill joins me&u from My Muscle Chef, one of Australia’s top rated […]
MILO is on the search for Australia’s best made MILO, calling on fans to share their creations for the chance to win #TheMILOCup, via Ogilvy Sydney. This integrated campaign follows on from the success of last year’s ‘Hot v Cold’ campaign, which encouraged Aussies to settle the debate on whether MILO is best enjoyed hot […]
New research from Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, has found that LGBTQ+ representation in ANZ remains low and stereotypical. It’s 2021 – this needs to change – especially in marketing and advertising. In partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation, Getty Images has launched a full-spectrum Guidebook in direct response to […]
Natural historian Sir David Attenborough is one of the most commanding and respected storytellers in the world and now the iconic series, David Attenborough Life Stories, is available on LiSTNR as part of SCA’s recently announced partnership with the BBC. David Attenborough Life Stories is a series of talks on the natural histories of creatures and […]
Menulog has doubled down on its marketing support for restaurant partners, with the promotion of Senior Marketing Manager, Rami Tamer, to a newly created role of ‘Head of Partner Marketing’, as well as the promotion of former-Blue 449 Performance Manager, Jaryd Buggins. In the new Head of Partner Marketing role, Rami will lead a team […]
ARN has announced Barry Drinkwater will be handing over his content director reins at 97.3FM and 4KQ to respected radio executive, Alisson Longhurst. Drinkwater has had a stellar career in radio spanning more than four decades, and was acknowledged as one of Australia’s Top 20 Content Directors by Radio Today in 2020. He began his radio career […]
Australia’s largest social enterprise is turning 25. On the anniversary of Australia’s first Big Issue magazine being sold on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station in June 1996, Town Square has created a campaign to mark the occasion. 25 Years Big is a celebratory statement of pride, rendered in the iconic Big Issue logo […]
The Australian commercial radio industry has joined a global working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive. Android Automotive is Google’s infotainment operating system which is being built into new connected cars. Industry body Commercial Radio Australia is part of the working group, led by the […]
For the third consecutive year, Triple M’s No Talk Day will return on Thursday July 1 to raise awareness around men’s mental health and encourage courageous conversations on Triple M’s 45 stations across the country with support from partner Beyond Blue. From 6:00am – 6:00pm on July 1, Triple M is encouraging listeners to clear […]
Consumer shifts in how and where people buy products evolved significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for retailers to use new channels, fulfilment strategies and payment options, according to the results of a new survey out today from BigCommerce and PayPal. While a majority of the 3,000 consumers surveyed from the United States, United Kingdom […]
Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about contextual advertising bar the curling wand and the hot pink leg warmers.
The brainchild of co-founders Gina Williams-Folau (main photo) and Greer Bland, the talent agency Liquorice was born out of a desire to make things easier for brand managers. Liquorice offers social talent for brands wanting to hit the sweet spot with Kiwi audiences. Launching with a roster of big names on board including Millie Elder-Holmes, Athena […]