Consultant Speak — Usages to Avoid

A break from politics to highlight some useless high-priced usage

“around” — as in “let’s have a discussion around sustainability.” This seems to be a synonym for “about,” except fuzzier. Stay away.

“space” — as in “who else is in that space?” a loose term that fosters fuzzy thinking — are they talking about a specific market segment defined in a particular way, or about a specific technology? It’s never clear — this allows talking “around” a topic instead of about a clear subject or question.

“impact” — especially as a verb, but also as a noun. As a verb, it’s either a synonym for “affect,” or its a vague substitute for verbs that are more specific regarding the effect — Use “hurt,” “impair,” “improve,” etc. as appropriate. I know it’s thought to be vivid, but how often are you talking about things actually hitting each other? Same as a noun — its either a synonym for “effect” or “result” or a lost opportunity to be more specific.