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Avoid These Office Buzzwords

By Marlys Harris | Sep 4, 2010 |

This article is from Money Watch.  You can click on the above or below link to read the full article.  Marlys Harris, “The Consumer Reporter”, has been covering personal finance at least since “the time of the Pharaohs”.  She wrote the previous article last year.  This is the follow up from it…

Last year about this time, I posted a list (plus definitions and correct usage) of the office clichés least loved by a random sampling of executives polled by Accountemps. You may — like me — be too snobby and old-fashioned to want to sling the lingo, but you’ve got to know it or run the risk that your peers and superiors deem you hopelessly out of the loop. (Oops, there’s a tired office phrase if there ever was one!) That’s why I have made it my personal mission to keep you up to date.

Alas and alack, Accountemps conducts its jargon survey only once every five years. However, the company put me in touch with Brett Good, senior district president of its corporate parent Robert Half International, the global staffing firm. In the course of his work, Good is privy to bujillions of resumés where many of us festoon our mundane jobs and meager accomplishments with business gobbledygook to make them sound more important — or less unimportant. “New expressions are springing up all the time,” says Good, though some, he admits, like “out of the box” won’t go back in the box no matter what. He supplied several current buzz phrases, and so did some CBS MoneyWatch cubicle denizens who have kept their ears glued to partition walls for their colleagues’ most hackneyed utterances. Herewith their findings (with my own definitions and attempts at usage):

In transition. A change from one state of being to another; recession variation: collecting unemployment compensation. Example: “Since the downsizing, I’ve been in transition.” Synonym: doing some consulting.

Brand. Put a good face on. Example: “Okay, so we polluted the groundwater by failing to follow those finicky safety regulations. How should we brand it?”

Space. Industry or field. Example: “I’m in the manufacturing space,” “I’m in the waste disposal space,” “She’s in the adult film space,” or “He’s in the space exploration space.”

Go offline. Pester me about this after the meeting — or preferably never. “Jones, could we go offline to discuss the $10 underpayment of your expense account reimbursement?”

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