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What’s your most hated office phrase?

The Plain English Campaign has said that office lingo is making bad business and segregating new employees

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Padraig Prendergast
16:57 Thursday 2 May 2013

Office jargon is deemed as a ‘pointless irritation’ by 25% of workers. Over two-thirds of workplaces are guilty of this growing trend.

“Thinking outside the box” better known as to come up with a new angle, was voted the most annoying and overused term. “Going forward” meaning in the future came in second place followed closely by “let’s touch base” also known as let’s have a chat via phone, email or in person on a particular matter.

2,000 managers were surveyed by the Institute of Leadership and Management and the study found subsequent frustrations included tardiness, meaningless emails and gossiping co-workers.

ILM’s CEO, Charles Elvin said, "When office-based teams work in close proximity for long periods of time, we see that seemingly trivial issues can grow disproportionately, if left unchecked, and begin to cause upset and resentment.”

Founder of the Plain English Campaign, Chrissie Mahler said this is a serious concern and this slag over usage could hold business back.

“Management speak gets in the way. It acts as a barrier to procuring new business.

“It does two things – it isolates newcomers who feel they have to learn the lingo when they should be made to feel at home, and it gets in the way of business and finds its way onto forms, leaflets and official documents.

“Instead of sitting in the office irritated by jargon people need to stand up and tell their bosses that they are not making any sense, Mrs Mahler added.

Some popular pet peeves are, “touch base”, “blue sky thinking”, “going forward”, “to ‘action’ something”, “drill down”, “having good bandwidth”, “quick one” and “shoot the lights out.”

What’s your most hated office phrase?

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Padraig Prendergast

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