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Office jargon Explained - Say whaaaat?

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by Startacus Admin

It can sometimes feel like you are living in a Dr Seuss story…a world where the simple art of the English language has been magically transformed into a secret code of mystery and deceit... where no statement is quite what it seems.

We call it office speak or office jargon, for the German’s it’s Buro Sprechen and in France they have parler de bureau - it seems wherever you go modern businesses are Office talk explainedfilled with gobbledy-gook, jibber-jabber and sometimes even gobbledy-jabber.

To help (or potentially confuse things even more) we’ve put together a little list of some of the common things you might hear around the office followed by one example of what it could potentially mean.

N.B. In true Startacus style we’ve gone for the extreme end of the spectrum with each of these statements … alternative meanings are also possible… unlikely, but certainly possible...

Office jargon Explained...

“We feel as a group...”- I (as an individual) have convinced the other sheep of the merits of my argument.

“Think outside the box”- That is a terrible idea, you should come up with something better. (Unless of course you happen to work in a box factory, in which case this could just be some sensible advice)

“Let’s take some time out” - I can't bear to spend one more moment on this activity.

“We should have a little chat”- There is a very serious and potentially even career ending conversation on the way, you should prepare yourself.

“I am very busy at the moment, can I call you back?”- I have just reached level 12 on Angry Birds in Space and can’t be distracted right now…

“Oh… I must not have got that email!”- I got the email and chose to ignore it.. if you send it again I will probably do the same.

“We can touch base later”- I shall meticulously analyse every second of your workday

“Going forward you might want to…” My way of doing things in eminently better than yours!

“I can't come to the meeting I’ve got a conference call” I want to call my friends to gab about Saturday night

“I need you to give 110%” - You are not doing enough in the first place / Your 100% is not good enough

*“Its on my radar” - You / they have been wilfully ignoring this (but thanks for the reminder!)

“Keep me in the Loop” - I don’t trust you / I don’t trust them / I am fairly uninterested in this - but its worth “keeping on the radar*” (say whaaaat)

As yet we don’t consider ourselves 100% fluent in the elusive language of office speak, so please let us know if your translations are different from ours.

You might also like to check out a few of these recent rib-ticklers…

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Published on: 23rd January 2014

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