The people (you know it was a committee) who dreamed up “morale booster” probably had their employees’ best interests at heart. Yet it’s come to connote “too little, too late,” “PR opportunity for management,” and a whole lot of other negatives.
Other good terms gone bad include:
Creating synergy. One of a “grab-bag of phrases that fill in for actual ideas, goals or know-how,” says reader Alba Brunetti.
Work with me. “Lower your rates to fit my wee budget.” (Jenna Schnuer)
Operational excellence. “Layoffs and massive budget-cutting” (Sarah Maxim). Used to be called streamlining or rightsizing.
Teachable moment. “You fucked up.” (Sophia Dembling)
Please add to the list!