Following a rant today on Facebook about workplace everyday-isms which really get my goat, I figured it might be useful to document those things which rub me up the wrong way.
This blog post will be updated from time to time as more gripes come to mind, and linked to when the need arises.
So, if you want to ensure your communication assistance illicits a ‘yes’, best avoid the following.
Of course, publishing this list may well invite people to use them anyway. If you do, then I’ll know what kind of person you are.
In some cases, I’ve felt the need to offer an explanation.
Just say definitely. It’s better that way.
2. Happy Days
3. Oh My Days
Just swear. It has far more weight if you actually swear.
4. Exciting or Excited
If you’re using either word you’re almost certainly not feeling either.
5. Exclamation marks
Only use exclamation marks for serious warnings. Using them is trying to force a sense of excitement on the reader and invariably draws attention to the fact that you can’t think of another word to better express yourself. Combining exclamation marks with the word ‘exciting’ or ‘excited’ and the intended effect is diminished.
6. Hope you’re well
No you don’t. You don’t really care whether I’m well or not. If you did care, you’d actually ask whether I was well or not, and you’d use a question mark at the end of the sentence.
Best not ask, because I will tell you in my response and it will invariably leave you wishing you hadn’t asked at all. Real life isn’t peachy and the depressing inevitability of it all cannot be overcome by the phrase “Hope you’re well”.
Just get on and ask me what it is you want me to do. Far more efficient. “Hope you’re well” is widely regarded as an ice-breaker, a tone-setter or a softly-softly way to start an email, based on the falsely held assumption that not using it is somehow abrupt or rude. It is a redundant phrase, however. Getting to what you want to ask is not rude. It’s efficient.
If you must ask how I am, be specific. Don’t be open-ended.
It’s television. Or it’s TV. Not telly.
11. Align or Re-align
12. Optimise or Maximise
13. Going forward
14. Cut-through or pick-up
15. To be perfectly/completely honest
I expect that anyone I’m interacting with is honest with me. If you’re not, then we shouldn’t be interacting with one another.
16. My Bad
Oh, fuck off. Really.
17. Mad Early
A derivation of ‘stupidly early’ and so technically acceptable. Often used to denote coolness.
Don’t be a dick. Don’t use it.
18. Emoticons or Emojis
Don’t use emoticons in your messages to me. They’re childish, lazy, weak-willed non-communication. If you can’t send me a message without an emoticon then you need to spend a little more time planning what it is you to want to say to me first.
19. “I’ve got to jump on a call at 1230”
The time is irrelevant where this particular gripe is concerned. It’s the verb that infuriates me. You’re not ‘jumping on a call at 1230’. You’re either taking a call, participating in one or joining one.
20. “I’ll ping/shoot you an email.”
Stop using unneccessary langauge to increase the importance of your message and/or yourself. You don’t ‘ping’ emails to people, you send them.
21. “All things … [INSERT WORD]”
A phrase used to denote importance when elevating the status of an event, message, or function. For example, “I’m responsible for all things digital at [INSERT ORGANISATION]”.
Just give us your job title.
22. The ‘super’ pre-pend
Don’t use ‘super’ as a comparator. Far from actually underlining how wonderful something is, you’re actually distancing yourself from the very thing you’re trying to emote about.
Also, you sound like a twat when everything is prepended with ‘super’.
If you’re about to use the word ‘super’ to describe something, then having a long detailed executive board meeting with yourself and come up with some new ideas.
23. To ‘Nutshell’
When seeking to summarise a situation do not use the word ‘nutshell’ as a verb, as in “I’m going to nutshell this.”