Let’s do a Zoom? How Covid-19 has replaced business jargon with…more business jargon

Posted on 11th December 2020 by Rebecca Brown

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“Let’s jilt the jargon for 2020 and bring back plain English” our very own Mrs Whyatt declared at the start of the year…if only she knew! Instead, the ‘Covid culture’ of virtual meetings, social distancing and face masks has created a whole new book of ‘annoying phrases’ (as Fiona may put it).

2020 BC – Before Covid

I would like to take you back to the not so distant past, to an era that we now define as ‘pre-Covid’ and our account director, Fiona Whyatt, wrote a blog that looked at the business jargon we should eradicate from the English language. Her top five were:

  • Thinking outside the box
  • It’s not rocket science
  • Let’s touch base
  • Thought shower
  • And my personal favourite, low hanging fruit

In fact, Fiona isn’t the only person to take a dislike to these overused phrases. Tonnes of articles on google which share this view date back years; ‘The Ridiculous Jargon Dictionary’, ’21 most hated business phrases’ and ’14 business jargon phrases that people love to hate’, are just some of the many examples!

 Covid culture is now ‘moving the goal posts’

While our love of business jargon hasn’t yet been jilted completely (sorry Fiona), the pandemic has introduced new phrases that are equally annoying. And dare I say it, may also gradually replace some pre-Covid terms that are definitely a little worn out.

I recently asked my Skout compadres which new terms they have been using or they’ve frequently heard since March. Here’s what they said.

  • “Let’s do a Zoom” – The new way of saying “shall we arrange a meeting to discuss?”
  • “Sorry my dog is barking/ child is singing” – Or, whatever else is causing a distraction in the background of my virtual call.
  • “The new normal” – We’ve all had to adapt to the changes brought on by the impacts of Covid-19 and this phrase has definitely been used umpteen times since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • “You’re on mute” – Yep! We must’ve all heard this one by now.
  • “I’ve turned my camera off due to poor internet” – Pre-pandemic, I bet there were only a handful of people that actually used the webcam hiding away at the top of the laptop.
  • “Shall we just ring each other” – Translates to “I really can’t be bothered having a video call”.

And, it’s not just the B2B world that has experienced a wealth of new phrases. How many times have you said “I forgot my mask” when popping to your local shop. Or shouted “make sure you sanitise your hands” to your partner, housemate or child?

Can you think of anymore? Why not drop us a comment of our Linkedin feed…we’d love to hear them!



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