Verbal tics, cliches and catchphrases – to be brutally honest they’re basically not alrighty

Office Space

Office Space: It would be just great to watch it again. Nice matching tie and braces

If you don’t want to be despised by your colleagues in the office, it’s probably best not to say ‘Yeah?’ really aggressively at the end of each sentence.

You’ll find they say ‘No’ to you quite a lot.

Saying ‘to be honest’ to your partner may arouse the suspicion that you’re not 100% trustworthy.

Saying ‘Exactamundo’ whenever you agree with your boss will not help your chances of promotion. Not exactly the best way to advance your career.

Verbal tics are everywhere and most of us use them. Lots. More than we realise.

So here’s a list of those you may want to avoid if you want a more successful career and a more stable personal life.

My definition of a verbal tic is: ‘A word or phrase repeated unconsciously to the potential annoyance of the listener.’

See how many you recognise or – worse – use yourself. Then read on for tips on how to reduce your Verbal Tic Count – and enjoy a better life.

I’ve ignored TLAs (three letter acronyms) like LOL, WTF and TBH as well as most catchphrases from TV and film. I plan to dig these rich seams in a later post.

And I’m not talking about people who suffer from disorders like Tourette’s. I’m talking about those of us lucky enough to be able to control what we say – but just don’t bother.

The list of shame is this way

Actually – Means nothing, actually.

Alrighty – Okay for Flanders or Ace Ventura. Not okay for real people. Ever.

Am I right or am I wrong? and Am I right or am I right? – After several minutes expounding a point, the speaker uses either of these tics, not as a question, but as a statement that they are indeed right.

And so on and so forth – You could just say ‘et cetera’ and save four words.

And what have you – This begs the question: ‘What have I?’. Again ‘et cetera’ saves time.

And what not – Ditto.

As far as I know – Surely implied in whatever you say without you spelling it out?

As I said before – Tip: You probably don’t want to remind your listener that you repeat yourself.

As you said or Like you said – Sycophantic and grating when used more than once in a conversation.

At the end of the day – Classic cliché. ‘At the end of the day it gets dark.’


LEGO is awesome. Saying ‘awesome’ in an office should be a sackable offence

Awesome – Yes we all love LEGO. But use this if you’re over 13 and you won’t be loved.

Basically – Classic filler. ‘Basically’ just adds three syllables to your sentence, basically.

Cool – Was cool in the 70s for a bit. Great, Super and Magic fit into this category too. Reminders of the Bee Gees aren’t good.

Don’t mean to be rude / disrespectful / awful … – Yes, we’re all just waiting for the but aren’t we?

Do you hear me? – Aggressive and likely to make your listener stop hearing anything you ever say again.

Do you understand? – Ditto. Only worse.

Dunno – The teenager’s answer to 97% of questions. Forgiveable in teenagers. Unforgivable if you aspire to be an intelligent, mature, reasonable person.

Eh? – Used at the end of a sentence is extremely annoying. Isn’t it, eh?

Enjoy! – It’s likely they won’t after you’ve said this.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera – Used to cover ignorance. You don’t actually have other examples to bolster your argument, do you? Fine if you’re quoting from The
King And I, though.

Exactly or Exactamundo – Used instead of ‘Yes’ to emphasise agreement. ‘Yes’ is better. In the same category as Perfectamundo and Correctamundo.

Friend – Doesn’t really mean ‘friend’ at all – and is much slimier than the more neutral salutation tic, ‘mate’.

F**ing – I have actually heard people say: ‘F***ing. I f***ing went this f***ing morning and I’m f***ed if I’m f***ing going this afterf***ingnoon.” Overuse destroys
the effect of this otherwise excellent word.

Frankly – Similar to ‘honestly’, but possibly even more insincere.

Hello? – As in ‘Hello? Is anyone at home?’ Aggressive and likely to ensure no-one’s in.

Honestly – So your other comments are dishonest?

Um and ah, erm – Classic tics. The majority of us use them when we’re thinking of a word or phrase. You could try to replace them with nothing. Silence is wonderful. Awkward silence is even better.

Innit / Innit tho’ – Urban slang deriving from ‘Isn’t it?’ and ‘Isn’t it though?’ Pretty ugly, innit though?

It is what it is – What? Of course it is, or else it would be something else, wouldn’t it?

Know what I’m saying? – It’s not a question is it? It’s just a tic, know what I’m saying?

Know what I mean? – No I probably don’t. Popularised by Frank ‘Know what I mean, Harry?’ Bruno. Nice chap, but not really a conversational role model.

Newcastle Brown Ale, like

Newcastle Brown Ale, like

Like – The habit of repeating this word several times in a sentence gained notoriety in Beverley Hills 90210. Only acceptable when used in a Geordie accent. ‘Get us a
brown ale, like’ sounds absolutely splendid, like.

Literally – As in ‘You could literally knock me down with a feather’. ‘Literally’ expands sentences with redundant syllables that make you sound very silly.

Listen or Look – Patronising attempt to control a conversation. First popularised in the UK by the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, attempting to sound sincere when he didn’t believe a word of what he was saying.

Myself – Used instead of I. ‘Myself and Steve will be taking questions.’ Gulp.

… Not, as used in Wayne’s World – ‘We’ve hit all our sales targets … not’ isn’t very professional. No wonder you’re in trouble.

Not a problem / Not an issue / No probs – Lazy Customer Service speak. On the plus side, ‘Not an issue’ rhymes with ‘Mogadishu’.

Right? – It’s not a question. Just an annoyance – a patronising, insulting annoyance, right?

So (at the start of a sentence) – ‘So’ is a conjunction, so it begs for something before it to make sense of what comes next. Use it to introduce a new concept or argument and you are being so annoying.

Sort of / Sorta – Doesn’t add anything to what you’re saying: ‘Are you OK?’ ‘I’ve got a sorta headache.’ Unless a sorta headache is a type of migraine. Dunno.

That would be great – Used by bosses favouring the passive-aggressive Just F***ing Do It management technique. It would be great if you watched Office Space.

The thing is – Usually a prelude to bad news.

Think about it – Implying that unless you tell me to think, I won’t actually do it myself.

To be honest – Implying the things you say without this tic are lies.

To be brutally honest – Implying the other things you say are particularly dishonest.

Trust me – Is unlikely to bolster the listener’s confidence in you.

Yeah? – When said aggressively at the end of a sentence will make your listener think ‘No’.

You know? or Y’ know? – Even if I did know, you’re not really asking me. You’re just padding out your sentence, you know?

We are where we are – See ‘It is what it is’.

Whatever – Thankfully waning but sometimes reappears in the mouths of bosses who are trying and abysmally failing to be ‘cool’. Accompanied by the two thumb and index finger ‘W’ sign. You really don’t want to be like them, do you? The answer is No.

End of the List of Shame

So now you’re thoroughly ashamed at how many you use, what can you do to stop yourself?

Some people say you should record yourself when you do a speech or a presentation. That sounds boring and hard work.

You could just accept that’s the way things are. This is more likely – but you’re better than that. You’re reading this blog, so you’re an intelligent, reflective, thoughtful person.

The third thing to consider is Mindfulness.

Instead of yabbering on mindlessly, you could try to be more conscious of what you’re saying.

Then, when you’re about to say ‘To be brutally honest it’s like literally awesome’, you may just keep your mouth shut instead. Silence is golden.

And if you can’t be bothered with that, you can have good fun counting the number of times other people use their favourite tics. Tic Tac Toe as a fun alternative to office Buzzword Bingo.



Best, funniest, most hilarious short jokes, one-liners and funny phrases ever

Here are the world’s best, funniest, silliest short jokes, one-liners, puns and funny phrases. Enjoyed best with a glass of York Gin available here

Why are horse-drawn carriages so unpopular?  Because horses are rubbish at drawing.

I used to supply Filofaxes to the mafia. I was involved in very organised crime.

I bought my friend an elephant for his room. He said: Thanks. I said: Don’t mention it.

I hate Russian dolls. They’re so full of themselves.

What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws?
Outlaws are wanted.

When my wife said she was leaving me because of my Monkees obsession I thought she was joking.
And then I saw her face.

What’s brown and runny?
Usain Bolt

I can’t stand being in a wheelchair.

The cross-eyed teacher had trouble controlling his pupils.

I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.

A German asks for a martini.
‘Dry?’ asks the barman.
He replies: ‘Nein – just one.’

What’s small, red and whispers?
A hoarse radish.

What’s the best thing about Switzerland?
Don’t know, but the flag’s a big plus.

Einstein’s mum: Are you happy?
Einstein: Relatively.

I tried walking up a hill without a watch but had neither the time nor the inclination.

I was wondering why I suddenly had pentagrams on my palms. Then I remembered: I’ve been using hand sataniser.

I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with but I’ve been tripping all day.

What can think the unthinkable?
An itheberg.

I just got hit by a rented car.
It Hertz.

I played triangle in a reggae band but left – it was just one ting after another.

‘I love snow. Actually, I hate snow.’
– Bi-polar bear

It’s a disgrace that gingerbread men are forced to live in houses made of their own flesh.

Say what you want about deaf people …

I know a lot of jokes about unemployed people – but none of them work.

Legal fetishist gets off on a technicality.

I’m addicted to brake fluid but I can stop whenever I want.

I was wondering why the ball was getting bigger. Then it struck me.

I left my last girlfriend because she wouldn’t stop counting.
I wonder what she’s up to now.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
To who?
To whom.

Drugs don’t kill people – people who run out of drugs kill people.

You’ve got to hand it to blind prostitutes.

I tried to join the Kleptomaniacs Anonymous meeting – but all the seats were taken.

Roman: A martinus please.
Barman: You mean a martini?
Roman: If I’d wanted a double, I’d’ve asked for one.

Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

A man said to me: ‘I’m going to attack you with the neck of a guitar.’
I said: ‘Is that a fret?’

What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
I don’t know and I don’t care.

‘Describe yourself in three words. Lazy.

I wonder what ‘DON’T TOUCH’ is in Braille.

I’ve just read a book about Stockholm Syndrome.
The first couple of chapters were awful, but by the end I loved it.

I asked the doctor to give me something for persistent wind.
He gave me a kite.
‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I apologise’ mean the same thing – unless you’re at a funeral.

Don’t you hate it when people answer their own questions? I do.

Research shows that 6 out of 7 dwarves aren’t Happy.

‘This is your captain speaking. AND THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SHOUTING.’

Velcro – what a rip-off.

My dyslexia has just hit a new owl.
Why can’t you make clothes out of cheese?
Because fromage frays.

‘I stand corrected,’ said the man in the orthopaedic shoes.

My dad’s started p*ssing with the door open.
Which is a bit inconvenient when I’m driving him home.

My pencil isn’t prone to making Freudian Slips, but my penis.

What Iran needs now is a more modern, moderate leader – a Mullah Lite.

Room service? Send up a larger room.

The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his chest.

Did you hear about the dyslexic rock star?
He died by choking on his own Vimto.

Where there’s a will, there’s a relative.

It’s difficult explaining puns to kleptomaniacs – they’re always taking things literally.

I went on a once in a lifetime holiday.
Never again.

Masochist: ‘Hurt me.’ Sadist: ‘No.’

Make the little things count – teach maths to midgets.

Preparation H is pretty good – on the hole.

Crime in multi-storey car parks is wrong on so many different levels. – that’s a site for sore eyes.

Change is inevitable – except from vending machines.

To err is human. To blame it on someone else shows management potential.

Wife: What’s on the telly?
Husband: Dust.

I went shopping for some camouflage trousers, but I couldn’t find any.

A woman asks the barman for a double-entendre. So he gives her one.

A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

The police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

The dentist said: ‘Say Ahhh.’
I said: ‘Why?’
He said: ‘My dog’s died.’

A photon checks into a hotel and the porter asks him if he has any luggage.
The photon replies: ‘No, I’m travelling light.’

Jesus goes into a hotel.
He hands the receptionist three nails and says: ‘Can you put me up for the night?’

I want to die like dad – peacefully in my sleep.
Not like mum – screaming in terror in the passenger seat.

I called my lawyer and said: ‘Can I ask you two questions?’ He said: ‘Of course. What’s the second question?’

My ultra-sensitive toothpaste gets really jealous when I use other toothpastes.

I asked the gym instructor ‘Can you teach me to do the splits?’
He said: ‘How flexible are you?’
I said: ‘I can’t do Tuesdays.’

The past, the present and the future were having an argument. It was tense.

I took the wife’s family out for tea and biscuits.
They weren’t too happy about having to give blood though.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

Pavlov is sitting at a bar when his phone rings.
He exclaims: ‘Oh no, I forgot to feed the dogs.’

An A to Z of office jargon

Blue SkyEnglish is a very flexible language – but many of the following examples of office jargon in 2014 stretch it to snapping point.

The merely hackneyed ‘blue-sky’, ‘thought shower’ and ‘pushing the envelope’ have been replaced by the pseudo-scientific ‘transitioning’, ‘operationalise’ and ‘matrix’.

Steve Jenner of the Plain English Campaign says: “Some people think that it is easy to bluff their way through by using long, impressive-sounding words and phrases, even if they don’t know what they mean.”

What follows isn’t an amusing list of made-up, office words like Deja-brew (asking if people want a drink when you know they’ve just got one) or Social Notworking (messing around on Facebook and Twitter instead of working). The full list of these in the Daily Telegraph is worth a read – if only as light relief from the following roll of shame.

This is rather a list of words and phrases that are used every day in British offices. They really are used – often without irony.

In the spirit of constructive criticism rather than hopeless bitching, I’ve given alternatives (or translations) to the jargon. Where I’m genuinely lost for words, I’ve used a question mark – the punctuation equivalent of a horrified shrug.

2017 update: Speak in brackets – As an aside
(Thanks to Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble With Goats And Sheep, for this howler.)

Activity plan – To do list
Actions – To do list
Alignment – Agreed
All hands – Department meeting
Annual leave – Holiday
Asap (when pronounced ‘Ayesap’) – Now
Ask (As in ‘It’s a big ask’) – Difficult.

BAU (Business as usual) – Normal
Backfill – Providing cover while someone is on holiday. Originally an engineering term for filling a hole this is now used as follows: ‘If Charlie’s on annual leave, we’re not going to backfill him.’
Backburner – We’re not going to do it
Ballpark – Estimate (See also ‘Finger in the air’)
Bandwidth – Time or inclination
Baseline – See Re-baseline (it’s funny)
Basis as in ‘On a weekly basis’ – Every week or Weekly
Belt and braces – Do the job properly
Best endeavours – Not a chance
Best in breed – Best
Best in class – Best
Big ask – Impossible
Boiling the ocean – ?
Boulders on the runway – ?
Bunfight – Disagreement, not usually actually involving buns as weapons.

Can we …? – Actually means ‘Can you …?’ And, after you’ve performed the task, the person who said ‘Can we?’ will mop up any credit that’s going.
Cascading up – ? (Though this does illustrate a fundamental ignorance of the laws of physics.)
Catch up – Meeting with the boss (Turns the average British stomach for its false informality and fake friendliness.)
Challenging – ‘S**t’ or – if you don’t like swearing – ‘Crap’
Channels – Departments
Close of play – Home time
Coalface – Desk
Comfort break – Toilet
Competencies – Skills
Conceptual copywriter – If someone describes themselves in this way, beware. They think they can write. They can’t.
Cross-functional representation – ?

Deep dive – Look
Decisioning – Deciding
Deploy – Use
Diarise – ‘We’ll talk about it later.’ Use the extra syllables in this instance to make a real sentence – they’re worth it. If you don’t believe me, say ‘diarise’ out loud. It’s revolting.
Drill down – Find out
DRs – Direct reports – Workers
Ducks in a row – ?

Evolution not revolution – Used as a rhyming excuse for bad decisions or an inability to make a decision at all – with a basic misunderstanding of biology and politics thrown in.
End of play – Home time
Evangelist – Creep

Feeding back – Opinion
Finger in the air – Estimate
Fire fighting – Not saving lives but rather panicking about emails and computers.
Fire off an email – Email (verb)
Fit for purpose – OK
From the get go – From the start
Font door process – Process

Game changer – A change
Game plan – Plan
Going forward – In the future / next
Go no go – Yes or no
Granularity – Detail
Greenlight – Used as a verb, as in ‘This iteration is fit for purpose, so we’re greenlighting it’. How about ‘approve’?

Head count – Workers
Heads-up – Explain or a warning that the crap is about to hit the fan.
High altitude view – ?
HODs (Heads of department) – People who are paid more than you.

Incentivise – Encourage / Pay
Ideation – ?
In flight – Now
Interface – Meet
Issues – Problems

JFDI – Just f***ing do it – Actually this is pretty good.
Journey – This has moved from the office to the wider world. Olympic medal winners have journeys now. So do people who reach the semis of The Great British Bake-Off.
Just – As in ‘Could you just update that spreadsheet?’ Ten hours later you’re still working on it.

Kit – What people who don’t really understand technology call hardware.
KPI – Key Performance Indicator – Target
Knowledge specialist – Ignoramus

Land – Finish
Learning – Lesson
Legacy – Old
Leverage – Use
Lock down – Agree
Long pole in the tent – Has a double meaning: 1. Something that physically holds up a structure  – like one of those tents with a pole in the middle. 2. Something that holds up (delays) a project. This second use was popularised by George W Bush. Both uses make you sound dumb and extremely annoying.
Loop in – Include
Loop back – ?
Low-hanging fruit – A tired and massively overused cliche meaning stuff that’s easy to do, like setting up the out of office message on your email or accepting a meeting request. If someone uses this phrase, they’re probably really struggling with life.

Manage expectations – No
Market place – Market
Matrix – Spreadsheet at a push, more likely to be a list.
Mitigation – Excuse
Move things forward – Do some bloody work.

Narrative – Making a push for the title of Worst Corporate Word, 2014. Means ‘history’ or ‘story’ in ‘creative’ industries. A real spine-tingler when heard in context.
Negative space – Used by designers who don’t have any imagination.
No brainer – Obvious

Offline – Later or (more likely) never
Operationalise – ?

Paradigm shift – A useful expression in physics. Used to try to lend gravitas to questionable ideas.
Partnering – Joining
Piece – As in ‘This will lock down the learnings in the ideation piece.’ – Part. Please don’t use ‘piece’ – it sounds really, really, really horrible in this context.
Ping – Send
Pre-prepare: Prepare
Polish this bad boy – ?
Price point – Price
Proactive – Active
Productise – ? Create ? (Ugh.)
Put lipstick on a pig – Similar to ‘Polish a turd’. Usually used in the negative, meaning ‘Bound to fail’. True of the vast majority of projects.

Q1, Q2, H1, etc – Used to give the impression you understand the science of numbers, accountancy, etc when you don’t really, do you?
Quick one – As in ‘Just a quick one: Could you dig out the numbers for Q4 last year?’ Ten hours later, you’re still stuck at your desk. (See ‘Just’).
Quick win – Simple task

Radar – Used by people stuck in an office who failed to get an exciting job that actually uses radar, like fighter pilot.
Rationalise – Fire, or sack
Reach out – Get in touch. (US jargon creeping into the British offices in 2014.)
Re-baseline – We’ve completely screwed up our forecasts and are starting again, but we’re going to pretend that it’s not a monumental cock-up and that it was  planned all along.
RAG status – Means Red, Amber, Green. Things are usually Red – meaning screwed.
Regrettable spend – “Oh sh**ing hell. We’re seriously f***ed.” (New for 2014.)
Resource – People
Real time – Time
Road map – Plan
Roll out – Start

Space – As in ‘We’re leaders in the sub-£3 pre-cut, pre-prepared, pre-washed salad space’ – Market. Like ‘piece’ above, it just sounds horrific in this context. Serious contender for title of Worst Piece of Office Jargon Ever.
Sign off – Finish
Shirt size – Estimate
Skill set – Skill
So – When used as a preamble to a conversation or email is very irritating. Particularly if it doesn’t follow on from anything.
Solutionise – Solve or Fix
Stakeholder (management) – Pain in the arse. Blame Blair for this with his ‘stakeholder society’ – shorthand for selling more council houses.
Strategic – Usually an excuse for poor, unjustifiable decisions that have been demanded by a boss with an inflated ego.
Strategise – Plan or organise.
Step change – Change
Step up to the plate – Do
SME (Subject Matter Expert) – Unlikely they’re an expert in the subject matter.
Sunsetting – Ending or finishing.
Synergies – Force incompatible things together in an attempt to save money. (The consequence is almost always huge extra expense and frustration when things don’t work out as planned.)

Tactical – We haven’t got the money or skills to solve this properly.
Take ownership – Own
Thought leadership – Oh Christ. This is scarily Orwellian. LinkedIn-speak. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
Throwing peanuts from the sidelines – Being annoying
Touch base – Meet
Transformation – Change
Transitioning – Making people redundant.
Triage – Assess. (Used as a verb. And in case you think the BBC comedy W1A overstates things, it doesn’t. Real people do say: ‘We need to triage this shit.’)

Up to speed – Tell
Usability – A discipline that should help make websites easier to use. Actually a discipline that uses jargon like ‘satisficing’, ‘heuristic’ and ‘ribcaging’.

Value engineer – Do it as cheaply as possible
Value Add – Justify
Value steering – ?
Vanilla – Normal
Verticals – Areas

War Room – Meeting room (usually smelling of BO and cheesy feet).
Weaponise – ?
Wheels come off – Broken
Win win – Win
Workshop – A talking shop where no actual work is done
Work stack – Work
Work stream – Work
Wake up call – Warning

Zero in – Focus

If you’ve made it this far, you may be pleased to know this list will be updated as fashions in office jargon change. See it as a testimony to the suffering of innocent office workers who just want to hear plain English – and as a plea to those who use jargon to cut it out. Please!

If you enjoyed this, perhaps you’ll enjoy my Defence of the three-letter acronym and the Verbal tic anthology

With thanks to: Joanna Cannon, Emma Godivala, Cate Nisbet, Daniel James, Mike Dale, Scott Allen, Sarah Jones (@smart_desk), Andy Tyack, Adrian Royles, Jon Maher, Heather Timm, Kevin Marrow, Gordon Brown, Paul Key, Charlie Ross, Paul Denman, Briony Joan Wilson, Tallulah Godivala, Sue Ambler, James Pittendreigh, James Nash, Nicholas Harman. Stephen Kirkby and Eva Finn.

“Take it offline – you’re being transitioned.” An A to Z of office jargon for 2014

Since I wrote this, I’ve collected an A-Z of office jargon. You may just want to go there.

If not, I hope you’l enjoy this first attempt to collect these horrible words.

Almost everyone hates jargon, according to a recent survey by the

People clearly need to re-baseline their expectations – going forward.

Jargon, gibberish, gobbledygook and plain, old-fashioned bull are here to stay in the modern office.

So here’s  an A to Z to help you navigate the Wonderful World of Weird Wasted Words.

It has gaps (See N – Negative Space).  If I couldn’t think of something good or funny, I just didn’t write anything.

This, I’ve found, is a really good line to live by. I’ve also provided some commentary on the jargon. You’ll find it’s pretty positive.

A: Action – When used as a verb this makes me want to action an immediate voiding of my bowels.

B: Basis – As in ‘weekly basis’. Why not ‘every week’? Even if you’re feeling weak. I am – and we’ve only reached ‘B’.

C: Challenging – Why not just ‘sh*t’ or – if you don’t like swearing – ‘crap’?

D: Decisioning – I think this means ‘calculate’, but I’ve made the decision to leave ‘D’ and move on to …

E: Evangelise – This just gives me the creeps because I hate religion as much as I hate jargon. Possibly more.


F: Forward – Managers think they can stop people bitching about past mistakes by saying ‘Going forward.’ Stalin said this whenever he wiped out 9/10 of his Politburo.

G: See ‘F’.

H: Heads-up – How about ‘warning’? But not ‘giving head’. That’s for a different blog.

I: Issues – See C.

J: James (Blunt) – This is, strictly speaking, Cockney Rhyming slang and not jargon. It’s a good description for someone who uses too much jargon.

K: Kit – What people who don’t really understand technology call hardware, when they’re desperately trying not to look stupid (and failing). Example: ‘Great piece of kit, the new Samgsung iPhone device’.

L: Leverage – Is so awful you’ll have to look it up yourself if you haven’t already abandoned this in despair.

M: Manage expectations – Means ‘No’.

N: Negative space – Used by designers who don’t have any imagination.

O: Offline – This actually means ‘elsewhere’ but is used by people working on the internet to show they understand computers and that.

P: Partner with – How about ‘join’? Join is a nice clear word. It also feels nice in your mouth when you say it. Have a go. You might enjoy it.

Q: Oh, thank Christ, a break from this horror.

R: Radar – Used by people stuck in an office who failed to get an exciting job that actually uses radar, like fighter pilot.

S: Stakeholder – I blame Blair for this with his ‘stakeholder society’ crap. I think this was shorthand for selling more council houses.

T: Transitioning – This means making people redundant in possibly the ugliest way known to humans.

Usability: A discipline that should help make websites easier to use. Actually a discipline that uses jargon like ‘satisficing’, ‘heuristic’ and ‘ribcaging’. See  Smashing magazine for more if you can stand it.

V: Value add – Horrid and reminds me of VAT. Never a good thing to remind me of.

W: Workstack – what’s this? A 21st century Woolsack? Or just a moronic way to say ‘work’?

X, Y, Z: (I love you, you difficult, end-of-alphabet letters with no office jargon attached to you.)

I also love Steve Jenner of the Plain English Campaign.
He says wise things like this: ‘Some people think that it is easy to bluff their way through by using long, impressive-sounding words and phrases, even if they don’t  know what they mean.’