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50 office-speak phrases you love to hate
Old 11-05-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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50 office-speak phrases you love to hate

Contributed mostly by Brits, but I've heard most of these lousy phrases in the U.S. too.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | 50 office-speak phrases you love to hate

My own pet peeve is "utilize." Please someone tell the world that "utilize" means exactly the same thing as "use," but with three times the syllables and twice the slime.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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I liked # 9
9. "Until recently I had to suffer working for a manager who used phrases such as the idiotic I've got you in my radar in her speech, letters and e-mails. Once, when I mentioned problems with the phone system, she screamed 'NO! You don't have problems, you have challenges'. At which point I almost lost the will to live."
Stephen Gradwick, Liverpool
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
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My own pet peeve is "utilize." Please someone tell the world that "utilize" means exactly the same thing as "use," but with three times the syllables and twice the slime.
The funny thing is that they do the same thing in Spanish! But there you have twice the syllables (4 versus 2).

"Drill down" always amuses me. Typical of software lingo applied to more general business matters. Whatever happened to the good old phrase - "get to the bottom of it"

But I think some of the best was all that internet speak we heard in the 99/2000. About companies being in a certain "space" and a bunch of other silly jargon.

It's funny - I think a bunch of the phrases that the Brits find annoying are phrases that have been in the US vocabulary for at least 100 years. LOL!

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Old 11-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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A few others?


GIGO (garbage-in-garbageout)?

"We don't see obstacles, just opportunities"

"I think its an idea we can get our heads around"......

"Just webinar it"
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:33 AM   #5
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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At least in the military you got to shoot back once in a while...
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:59 AM   #7
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I've always hated "last but not least" simply because some people use it for every list they present. Come on, sometimes we put things last because they really aren't as important as the first thing on the list. I now go out of my way to say "last and least important."
A close 2nd is "all intents and purposes" because it is reduntant. I really want to tell the speaker "ah, for a second there I thought we needed to implement this for intents only, but since it is for purposes as well, I'd better take Friday off to think about it"
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
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A phrase I heard a lot from top management the past few years was "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it". Which led to us putting in place all sorts of metrics and reporting about number of work requests, amount of time to complete tasks, time to respond to problems, time to resolve problems, etc etc etc. The results of which helped top management craft the outsourcing deal which led to me being laid off. Happily for me, that became early retirement. (But not so happy for most of my other coworkers).
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:14 PM   #9
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I remember a number of the phrases being used in my former workplace. One phrase not on the list was "getting down to the short strokes".
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:17 PM   #10
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Worked with a curmudgeon who frequently used "when you unpeel the onion . . .", which makes no sense.
"At the end of the day" is also a favorite.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:28 PM   #11
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"So how can we monetize this?"

"Let's ping so-and-so and see what he thinks."

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:54 PM   #12
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In his book "Crimes against Logic", Jamie Whyte goes into management-speak and especially consultant-speak a little. Consultant-speak is there to pad out the report and make you think you're getting something more than a spotty 26-year-old for your $3,000 per day.

For example, say you are one of a group of four people, and you notice that you are the tallest. You would say, "Benchmarked against geographically proximate peers, I am a top-quartile height performer".
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:57 PM   #13
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At least in the military you got to shoot back once in a while...
With the military it's the use of acronyms that drove me nuts. When I first started working as a civilian for the Army my head was spinning for 3 months trying to understand what everyone was saying.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:58 PM   #14
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This seems to be the new one around here: "thoroughly vetted".
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:54 PM   #15
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With the military it's the use of acronyms that drove me nuts. When I first started working as a civilian for the Army my head was spinning for 3 months trying to understand what everyone was saying.
The nukes in the submarine force avoided this one when we were little student nukes by forbidding us to use acronyms. Every time we saw one we had to speak it out instead of pronounce its letters.

This worked OK when you had to say "reactor plant manual" instead of RPM, but it was a real hassle when you had to ask a question about "self-saturable burnable poisons" or "main coolant cut-out valves".

Then the non-nuclear submariners would torment the nukes by pronouncing the acronyms as words instead of speaking the words they stood for. I once listened to two sonar technicians talking about the noise made by equipment that they kept referring to as "tiglops". After about 20 minutes I finally admitted my ignorance (I had a lot of practice at that) and it turned out that they were talking about turbine generator lubricating oil pumps: "TGLOPs".

Over 27 years after nuclear power school I still find myself sounding out acronyms and hesitating over whether to write them out or just use the initials.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:17 PM   #16
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:50 PM   #17
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I remember a number of the phrases being used in my former workplace. One phrase not on the list was "getting down to the short strokes".
Hmmm...well...............
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:09 PM   #18
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How can we operationalize this? (i.e. How can we get it done?)

The business planing proces is is all around accountability.... AARGH!
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:43 PM   #19
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:15 PM   #20
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