"Social media," "ROI," synergy" and "branding" are among the most overused and annoying buzzwords, according to a survey of marketing professionals by staffing company The Creative Group.

Here's a list of the top-ranked responses to the poll, which asked, "In your opinion, what is the most annoying or overused buzzword in the creative/marketing industry today?"

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1. Social media/social networking
2. Synergy
3. Free
4. Innovative/innovation
5. ROI/return on investment
6. Extra value/value added
7. Model(s)
8. Telemarketing
9. Social media expert
10. Resolve
11. Moving forward
12. Branding
13. Multitasking
14. Going green
15. Proactive
16. Think out of the box
17. Culture change
18. End of the day
19. Interactive
20. 24/7
21. Integrated/integration
22. Viral
23. The big idea
24. Leverage
25. Unique

When TCG conducted a similar survey in 2006, "synergy" was high on the tally but "social media," as you might have guessed, wasn't even on the radar screen. "Paradigm shift" was an offender four years ago, but didn't make the latest tally.

We'd like to add "strategic" and "game-changing" to the list. In a similar vein, Adam Sherk used the PRWeb database last year to compile a list of overused buzzwords in press releases and there's a solid overlap between his and the TCG survey released this week -- "synergy," "innovative" and "proactive," to name a few.

Donna Farrugia, executive director of TCG who earlier worked in marketing for 3M, said that while common terms like those above can helps colleagues communicate ideas more quickly, "excessive use of buzzwords can cause people to lose interest and tune out."

She has some tips for cutting out such words here.