ADMedia | Cringeworthy buzzwords of 2021 that need to die a fiery death

Well that’s a wrap….. 2021 is nearly over and many of us are looking forward to a much-needed reprieve from our screens and the endless zoom meetings that have come to dominate our lives.

The tribulations of 2020 have left most of us sufficiently battle-hardened by now. But even so, there were a few events momentous enough to give us pause.

Trump got booted off Twitter for good, casting him into the social wilderness. There was that minor news story of him getting impeached again……and acquitted….again. Megan and Harry dished some serious royal gossip fit for a king. Sco Mo found himself on the receiving end of an epic French snub and there was that ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal that effectively brought some global trade operations to a near standstill. If you think you’ve had a bad year, spare a thought for that captain!

Of course, 2021 wasn’t all bad, Kamala Harris made history as the first female, black, and south Asian vice president and our very own Ash Barty proudly took home the Wimbledon championship. The world also developed a vaccine faster than it ever had before.

That said, we’re glad to bid adieu to 2021 and with it, a series of annoying redundant phrases we’re sick to death of hearing.  Here are some cringeworthy buzzwords that we should banish from our collective vocabularies.


Cue eye roll, think we’ve all heard this particular phrase ad nauseam.

A pandemic is neither unique nor exceptional and when this particular shit storm has been going on for two years, we can no longer call it unprecedented.


Right up there with agile and dynamic. Can we agree we’re all dizzy from pivoting and from hearing about it?

“I think you’re on mute

If you haven’t found the mute button by now, you’re probably never going to.

We’re all in this together

Just like the High School Musical song, this phrase is super cringeworthy.

In these trying/ uncertain times

One thing we are absolutely certain of is our dislike for the phrase “uncertain times” and while you’re at it let’s through in “new normal”.

Paradigm Shift

A grossly overused and misused term just like digital transformation.   

As per my last email

The email equivalent of an epic eye-roll.  Whilst being asked the same question twice and people not properly readying your email response may be annoying, so is this passive-aggressive phrase.

Thought leader

This sounds like something out of George Orwell’s famous novel 1984. People who are genuine leaders and experts in their field, seldom need to call themselves such. Thought leader is a weird-sounding boastful term that should be put to rest.

What are your cringeworthy buzzwords of 2021 that you’d love to retire?

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