Grant Thornton Jargon Index


It’s easy to fall into the status quo trap of relying on business jargon to make your case. These buzzwords are so prevalent that we decided to track them in our new Jargon Index to help you avoid the most overused corporate-speak. Are you tired of smoke and mirrors (5,849 uses in Q1 2018) and looking to reinvent the wheel (3,577 uses)? We guarantee paying attention to this index will help you move the needle (8,325 uses) the next time you’re in a meeting.



#5: On the same page


With more than 26,000 uses in three months, it seems like everyone is in agreement about something, even if it’s just the use of this phrase. On the same page had about the same number of uses in January as it did in March, meaning it’s not likely to stop being used any time soon. Now the question is just what size piece of paper are these people on?


#4: Action plan


An action plan sounds like a much more exciting version of just a plain plan, so it’s no wonder it’s overused. It even has siblings, such as action steps. This phrase is used across business and politics, giving it plenty of staying power in the jargon world.


#3: Game changer


Is the reason for this term’s use that everyone wanted to be a professional athlete growing up? If you can’t make the clutch play that wins your team a championship, maybe you can at least come up with an idea that leads your firm to success. We tend to think that business is more than just a game, though.


#2: Value add


If someone has tried to sell you something, there’s no doubt they’ve talked about the value add their product or service provides. Including its sibling term value added, this piece of jargon had more than 20,000 uses in the month of March alone.


#1: Best in class


How could something that’s the best in class not be the top performer? You might also hear of something being in a class all its own. Maybe the next generation of best and brightest graduates who were actually the best in their class can come up with a different way of saying something is better than its competition.


Now that you’ve seen the most-used terms and phrases according to our Jargon Index, see how Grant Thornton is trying to eliminate buzzword bingo and be direct in our communications to clients. It’s our Status Go way of thinking.


Methodology: The Grant Thornton Jargon Index is a ranking of commonly used business jargon terms and phrases. Online mentions of 124 key business jargon terms were tracked in Q1 2018 and reviewed for spam and irrelevance. Click here to download the PDF with all 124 terms.


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