Most and Least-Favored Phrases at the Office
Sometimes when I can't think of a better phrase, "Let's run it up the flagpole" comes out by accident. Dang it! If certain office jargon gets on our nerves, why do we still use it?
It's a reflex, apparently. We've heard some words and phrases so many times that we can't help but use them too, even if better ones are out there.
There's nothing inherently wrong with most office catchphrases. Someone really creative must have come up with these phrases and used them for the first time because they wanted to add a spark. And the phrases caught on because they were kinda cool, but now they've made the rounds so much we've grown tired of them.
Verizon Business did a survey to see what corporate jargon resonates with people and what terms people would rather ditch. This is what they came up with.
The most-favored office jargon:
All hands on deck
Bring to the table
Go all in
The least-favored office jargon:
I'll ping you
I'll run that up the flag pole
Boil an ocean
Behind the 8 ball
Have you ever uttered the phrase "Boil and ocean" in your life? I have not, but this kind of makes me want to start working it in. The most common way to say it is, "Let's not boil an ocean," meaning let's not make things too complicated, or take steps that aren't necessary and get in over our heads. I might try it out on the kids later today and see if they're annoyed.
A lot of us who don't like a phrase will still use it. The survey found about 25% of people who said they disliked the phrase "analysis paralysis" still say it. Sometimes these phrases get stuck in our minds and they're the first to float to the surface even when we don't want them to. Maybe more coffee will help.
Is there another phrase around the office that annoys you? If you've got one, email it to me and I'll "run it up the flag pole" for ya. I bet you're not alone.