Workplaces are like their own countries. They have arbitrary limits, rules known as contracts, hierarchical structures, and of course, they have their own languages.
When I studied linguistics as an undergrad, we learned about places like offices and their own structures and whatever as "sociolinguistics," which Wikipedia defines as "descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and society's effect on language."
If you regularly attend meetings at work, you'll know that boardrooms have their own vocabulary. You'll never hear words like "synergy" outside of those four walls. Adam Hess, an Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated comedian from the United Kingdom, knows this all too well.
He recently took to Twitter to point out that you'll never hear a certain phrase outside of work meetings. That phrase? "It's just about finding that balance."
Took 28 years to realise that no matter what the meeting is about, if you randomly chime in with 'it's just about finding that balance' people will always agree.— Adam Hess (@adamhess1) March 21, 2018
Too real. And that's not the only phrase people could think of.
A double-edged sword is definitely an object that only exists in offices.
If you "remain true to those core values," you'll get a guaranteed promotion.
Honestly, when you take a step back, it's all achieving a more holistic approach in grasping the bigger picture.
Just stop the whole meeting to explain to me, What even is an action point?!
Just stop the whole meeting and say 'this needs an action point.' Done. Promotion.— Engteach (@helpmeout66) March 23, 2018
I think that if we look at this through a commercial lens then we can effectively square the circle (someone actually said this in a meeting last week, I literally had no idea what they meant)— great aunt wunjot (@wunjot) March 23, 2018
Ah yes, the strange circle-square shape they kept from us in kindergarten. Like, what is anyone even talking about anymore?
Another guy shared his opinion of a vacation:
Just heard "postcard commitment" from a high level manager and I have no idea what that means.— DoRayMeFarTed (@DoRayMeFarTed) March 23, 2018
We get it.
"We have to think carefully about this"— Michael Seto (@MCSeto) March 23, 2018
"There's no easy solution"
"We need a plan"
Also "We all have the same goal, just different ways of getting there."— J Walkup (@jwalkup) March 22, 2018
Don't you dare think inside the box, I say.
And then this other guy chimes in to add the classic "Let's put pen to paper" remark. But boss, I only have my laptop.
Anything with the phrase "laser focused".— M. Diesel (@DgtlChocolate) March 25, 2018
A well placed, "it's important that it drives results."
"At the end of the day" always works well for me because it is really hard to figure out when the end of the day actually is.— Dennis Schaal (@denschaal) March 25, 2018