Grant Thornton New Corporate Jargon Index Reveals Most Overused and Trending Terms

“Best in Class” and “Value Add” top list for business jargon, while “corporate values” sees major uptick

CHICAGO — Professional services firm Grant Thornton LLP has released a first-of-its-kind Jargon Index, which assesses trending terms and ranks business jargon by popularity. To produce the Index, Grant Thornton analyzed 124 corporate jargon terms on Fortune 500 company websites, and in press coverage and social media during the first quarter of 2018.

“Jargon is pervasive and persistent, plaguing our industry with buzzwords lacking substance,” said Srikant Sastry, national managing principal of Advisory Services at Grant Thornton. “Anyone who works in business can relate to the overuse of corporate jargon, and, frankly, professional services providers are some of the main culprits. At Grant Thornton, we listen to our clients and advise them in terms anyone can understand.”

Topping the list of most popular jargon is “best in class,” which was used in 71,729 instances, while the least-used jargon term was “sharpen the pencil,” which appeared just 33 times during the three-month period. The average number of uses for all the terms in the Jargon Index was 7,868.

Most and Least-Used Jargon Terms
Chart:1 Average of mentions

Chart: Least used

Biggest Change in Usage over Three Months
The term “corporate values” increased in popularity in the three-month time period assessed by 190 percent, while “tiger teams,” “get on the horn” and “chat offline” significantly plunged in use by 85, 72 and 66 percent, respectively.

Chart:3 Increase or Decrease

Click here to learn more about Grant Thornton’s Jargon Index.

About Grant Thornton’s Jargon Index
The Grant Thornton Jargon Index is a ranking of commonly used business jargon terms and phrases developed using Brandwatch. This inaugural index tracked mentions of 124 key business jargon terms from January 1 – March 31, 2018. Results were edited to eliminate spam and irrelevant mentions. Grant Thornton’s Jargon Index is part of the firm’s “Status Go” brand platform, which emphasizes challenging the status quo in a forward-thinking way that produces results for clients.

About Grant Thornton LLP
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.7 billion and operates 59 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.

Katharine Nichols
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