Do Not Ever Do This : 03


My Bad
Don’t say this unless you’re 18 years old, maximum – and unless it’s 2008 all over again in your part of the world. Middle-aged middle managers saying things like “my bad” smacks embarrassingly of, well, middle-aged managers trying hard to sound hip, street, edgy, or god knows what. And failing. Oh, and while you’re excising “my bad” from your lexicon, you might also toss out “bro,” “dude,” and “see you around the ‘hood” (unless you actually live in a “’hood” – we’ll assume you don’t). You say you’re using these expressions ironically? Forget it – half the people you work with aren’t picking up the irony. They just think you sound silly.


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Do Not Ever Do This : 02


Reach out
Don’t “reach out” to someone when you actually mean “contact” or “get in touch with.” Like most customer-service or marketing-derived clichés, this one intends to convey a depth of feeling not often inspired by mere workplace communication. So if you’re, um, reaching out too often, you’ll come off as irritatingly new age, smarmy, or maybe even insincere. Save “reach out” for those rare instances when there’s an especially sensitive message to be delivered – expressing sympathy, asking a tough question, or healing that enduring blood-drenched feud between the Barzini and Tattaglia families.


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Do Not Ever Do This : 01


Going Forward
A few years ago, people used to say or write “in future” or “looking ahead” or “from now on.” That was before the ruthless juggernaut that is “going forward” steamrolled all these lesser expressions onto the slagheap of lexical oblivion. Well, guess what… “going forward” became a cliché about four days after some management consultant – name lost in the mists of time – first trotted it out in a sudden enraptured fit of consultantese (kind of like speaking in tongues, but without the crosses or the foaming at the mouth). Going forward, don’t say or write it ever again.


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