How many times have you been asked to think outside the box?
We’ve all heard the phrases that are bandied about in the office, but have you ever stopped to appreciate how truly awful this jargon really is?
There’s almost an art form to it – the art of finding some extremely roundabout way of saying a simple sentence or word.
People don’t need to ‘work hard’, they need to ‘give it 110pc’. The only minor problem there is that 110pc doesn’t actually exist.
But, over the years, office jargon seems to have taken it up a notch.
It’s almost like people are really trying to ‘think outside the box’ to come up with even more convoluted ways to say simple things and sound important.
I’ve rounded up a list of my favourite terrible pieces of jargon, both from my own experience and from those who opted to send it to me on Twitter.
‘Let’s circle back to that’
Often used in place of: ‘Can I get back to you on that?’ but instead, you’re left picturing office workers running around in an actual circle.
circle back! *shudder*
— Simona Pop (@Sim_Pop) December 15, 2017
‘I’m going to reach out’
Let’s just take a step back for a second and think about how bizarre that actually sounds. Saying you’re going to email or call someone is just fine. In addition, ‘touch base’ is equally horrendous.
“I’m going to reach out”. Steady on it just means you are emailing someone
— Chris Williams (@morefromchris) November 10, 2017
‘Let’s diarise that’
Apparently, this is rampant. Jargon has gone from using words already available to form nonsensical phrases, to making up new ones.
This is just one example, too. It seems many jargon addicts have a habit of turning nouns into verbs, such as ‘anniversarise’ (celebrate an anniversary).
Then there’s this example below, which doesn’t even make sense.
“federalise” as in, ‘let’s federalise this document’. Apparently it means ‘share’…! #nononsenseplease
— Setfords Solicitors (@setfordslegal) December 15, 2017
Have you ever been told to take a ‘temperature check’ on someone you need to contact? Once again, there’s nothing wrong with saying you’re going to call someone.
Meeting / conference call requests called “temperature check on X client” – I work in financial services. I have NO idea what these calls relate to.
— Gill O’Brien (@Gill0Brien) November 10, 2017
‘Let’s take a bio break’
This is by far the worst and probably the most unique one I’ve heard, and I can’t explain it any better than the person who sent it in.
bio break – meaning taking 5 mins out of a meeting so everyone can finally go to the toilet!
— Ciara (@WorkJuggle) November 10, 2017
With so much glorious office jargon, I simply couldn’t give them all the same weight, and most others don’t need any further explanation. However, it doesn’t take away from any of these gems, so I felt they were worth a mention:
- Going forward
- There’s no ‘I’ in team
- Ping me an email
- Legacy perspective
In agencies when we’re discussing keeping hold of work that we’ve created for clients who’ve since left sometimes people use the phrase “from a legacy perspective”, which is absolutely hideous
— ? Kimberley? (@kimberleyhomer) November 10, 2017