We know that when you get to your office, you’re already in “work mode’. Your desk is occupied and working hard in meetings and making sure that deadlines are being met. Many individuals choose to leave out the basic English phrases in favor of workplace buzzwords. Different offices, countries, and industries use their terminology and official language. Many office buzzwords are phrases that gained their meaning from something unrelated to the way and the context in which they are currently used.
It doesn’t matter if you’re guilty or not of using every word in this list, don’t like the whole list, or have a secret love affair with a couple of them; we’ve put together the most irritating office buzzwords
Contact base is the term you use for meetings with a person and discussing something specific.
The idea of baseball is rooted in the game. The athlete would strike the ball, then run through each base, with the goal of running across all bases and returning to their starting point in order to earn points. Therefore, touch base aims to ensure that everything is in order and on the right track.
Example: Let’s touch base on the IT project so that we can see the progress made and what is still to be accomplished.
Simple English Alternative: let’s meet up to discuss
The meaning behind “game-changer” refers to a new component designed to change the current system.
It’s not surprising that the roots of the word”sport” are derived from the sport. There is some debate over bridge or baseball, two completely different games. In either case, it indicates that something significant occurred during the game, which profoundly altered the result.
Examples: When the Kindle was created, it was a revolution regarding how books were consumed.
Simple English alternatives: revolutionize or reform
Close of play/EOPor the end of play
“Close Of Play” is the time at the end of the working or business day at the time that everyone clocks out and goes home.
Another can go back to sports origins. In the UK, it’s believed that the word “cricket” originates from cricket. The time of the game lasts for two or three days. The time of the game will mark the closing of that day. It would then start the following day again. Similar to work, where you gather up the things you which were not completed prior to the day.
Example: Can I have those reports before the end of the game?
The plain English alternatives: end of the day
Let’s move this discussion to offline
To engage in a discussion off the table means to discuss something completely unrelated following the meeting. It could be that a specific issue has been brought up that can’t be solved immediately or may only affect a tiny percent of the participants present. In order to continue the discussion, it’s best to discuss the issue offline and then discuss it with the people who can help.
It’s been suggested by some that going offline is a concept that has its roots in the field of computer science. It is a term used to describe any process that is not dependent on the primary processing unit. This means that it can be handled in isolation and not simultaneously or even within the same discussion.
Examples: This meeting is about the development of a new product, but let’s discuss branding offline.
Simple English alternatives: let’s discuss this after or after
The key lessons
The phrase “key learnings” is widely used by groups of training and higher management. It’s basically asking what the main takeaway is from something? It is designed to identify the things that worked and what didn’t that the team can use to implement or improve upon going forward.
Learnings is actually a non-grammatical word, and it was only around 2000 did it begin appearing more frequently in the corporate workplace. However, the term has always been something that was similar to teaching or ‘lessons learned.
Examples: For the last project, we didn’t meet our deadline; therefore let’s look at the principal lessons of the reasons why this happened and apply them in the future.
Simple English Alternative:key conclusions / lessons
“Push back” means to postpone or delay something. In a professional setting, the reason why you might put off a decision is valid reasons, such as the results aren’t compatible with your business objectives or there are not enough resources to tackle an additional project.
Example: Our team does not have the resources to handle additional work; therefore for this particular project, we’ll have to delay.
Pure English alternatives: We’ll need to delay this from our end
Let’s talk about this.
Table something is an opposite meaning in the UK and in the USA. In the UK when you table something, it is to put it off for a period of time. In the USA this is to put off an issue for a while but then return to the issue at a later time.
The phrase was first heard at the time of the British Parliament. When a bill was introduced to the table, it was immediately discussed. This means that the issue will be debated but not anytime soon.
Examples: We need to reconsider this idea. However, it’s becoming to be too resource-intensive and technologically impossible.
Pure English Alternative: let’s discuss it at an upcoming time
“Slay it!” means to perform something exceptionally effectively.
The idea is derived from doing something that is so successful that nobody else can attempt to achieve the same feat. This is how big of a success it can be.
Examples: The team is working hard to develop an advertising campaign. I’m hoping they finish it.
The plain English Alternative: we hope it’s a success
Bandwidth is used to indicate whether you are in a position to undertake additional work or projects.
It comes from internet usage, which refers to the highest amount of data that can be transferred through an internet service provider.
For example, The team needs to create the content for the most recent campaign, have you got enough bandwidth to do it? — OR We aren’t able to do that currently.
Simple English alternative Capacity, ability time.
Suzy Welch explains that this can be used to cover up the actual reason why you shouldn’t undertake a project instead of being truthful. It doesn’t matter if it’s due to the cost, priorities, or just doesn’t align with the company goals. It’s best, to be honest about it.
Circle to the back
Circle Back is a term that is often used in meetings that are used to discuss an idea at a later time.
This is typically used in situations where people don’t approve of an idea but aren’t able to denounce it completely or are afraid of the commitment.
The example I think this is a great idea, but I’d like to calculate the numbers. I’ll be back about this in the next week.
Simple English alternative Update you, keep up with or catch up.
Many of these buzzwords from the office may sound uninspiring at first, but the more you use them, the more they get more comfortable (dare we say it?). But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using good basic English to communicate with your friends and family. So if you’d like to improve your English proficiency, take an English course using Kaplan International English.