From “peel the onion” to “blue-sky thinking,” online design and publishing tool Canva analyzed 6.3 million online job ads for some of the most popular and most confusing “business terms” and “candidate descriptions” to discover which business jargon terms are used most across the country and which industries uses jargon the most.

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Canva’s research revealed that:

• In Arizona, the most distinctive jargon with the highest above-average use is ‘blue-sky thinking’. Other popular words and phrases in Arizona include ‘move the needle’ and ‘doer’.

• IT is the industry in Arizona that uses the most jargon in its job ads (761 per 1000 job ads).

• Per 1,000 job ads in Arizona, we found that 389 of them contained complicated words and phrases.

Arizona’s most distinctive jargon words and phrases

The map shows the unique jargon terms that have the highest above-average usage in online job adverts posted in each state, including Arizona, where the jargon with the highest above-average usage is ‘blue sky thinking’ which refers to brainstorming with no limits.

Other popular words and phrases in Arizona include ‘move the needle’, ‘doer’, and ‘ninja.’

Here are the Top 10 jargon words and phrases in Arizona with the highest above-average usage:

So, what are the drawbacks of oversaturation of business jargon?

“One big issue is that such language can sound vacuous, superficial,” says Professor Michael Handford of Cardiff University. “Also, it can turn people off, so potential candidates that may be highly creative, potentially very collaborative, great communicators etc may find the language very off-putting. If potentially suitable candidates do not apply because they do not understand or feel intimidated by the language in the advert, that is clearly a loss to both the candidate and the organization.

“There is also the issue of the way language not only reflects reality, but can also construct it,” Handford continues. “So business jargon can help construct a particular way of seeing the world. What I mean is, if you use language (especially jargon and metaphors) that is very focused on marketing, profit, and growth, then this will prioritise certain practices and devalue others. We see this very clearly in educational contexts, with public universities now describing themselves as businesses (something that would not have been said 30 years ago). Students are seen and see themselves as consumers, and academics increasingly see themselves as service-providers. Quantifiable things like grant capture are prioritised, whereas less quantifiable things like teaching quality or collegiality among colleagues are less valued. But it can also affect society more widely: when such language is used to frame approaches to tackling the climate emergency, many linguists, psychologists and other social scientists have argued that it is counter-productive: we cannot valorize constant growth while tacking C02 emissions.”