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Top 20 Worst Office Cliches

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Dude, I've used one or two of these. Must stop myself.


The phrase, 'At the end of the day', commonly uttered by Premier League footballers, is uttered at least three times-a-day in every workplace.


It was followed by 'What goes around, comes around' and 'It's not rocket science', while 'Thinking outside the box' came fourth in the poll of 3,000 people.


Fifth place in the poll, carried out by The Brooke, named equestrian charity of the year at Olympia, The International Horse Show, was appropriately 'flogging a dead horse'.


Dorcas Pratt***, Director of International Development for The Brook, said: "Everyone has got their pet hates when it comes to office clichés.


"When someone says 'at the end of the day', many people cringe, and this can mean they no longer listen to the rest of the conversation properly.


"However, clichés can be a great way of getting a point across and help people really understand what you mean."


The survey also found six in 10 employees hate it when their boss keeps using clichés, while it also found that one in three bosses have pulled an employee to one side and asked them not use them in meetings with clients.


Top 20 Office Clichés:


1. 'At the end of the day'


2. 'What goes around, comes around'


3. 'It's not rocket science'


4. 'Thinking outside the box'


5. 'Flogging a dead horse'


6. 'Don't shoot the messenger'


7. 'Going forward'


8. 'By the close of play'


9. 'Give you the heads up'


10. 'Live and learn'


11. 'C'est la vie'


12. 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket'


13. 'Hit the ground running'


14. 'Always look on the bright side of life'


15. 'Suck it and see'


16. 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth'


17. 'Don't worry, be happy'


18. 'I know it's a big ask'


19. 'I'm out'


20. 'There are no flies on me'



*** rollabout

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One off the list, but I speshally hate "work smarter, not harder".


I hear that all the time from those middle managers trying to get their staff to think more instead of blindly doing robotics.


FFS, if they're capable of working smarter, they'd be your manager, you MORON.


Really bugs me when the blind try to lead the blind.

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Originally Posted By: thursday
Really bugs me when the blind try to lead the blind.


Ok, I reckon these also suck (not office per say, but i have heard em in here):
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder
- All hands on deck
- As honest as the day is long
- At the crack of dawn

Awesome ones:
- As useful as tits on a bull
- Going off like a frog in a sock
- Balls out
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some hacks are getting a bit tired at the end of the year aren't tye. Found another list.


1. Pick your brain: Substituted when someone simply wants to ask you something. "Do you mind if I just pick your brain?"


2. Throw it against the wall and see what sticks: Often used to describe a haphazard approach to presenting a motley product line, batch of ideas, etc. "Well, let's just throw these against the wall and see what sticks."


3. Sweat equity: Offered up when asking people to give their time and talent, and payment is not available. "We can't pay you your rate now, but -- when we do start making money -- you'll definitely have sweat equity."


The next three were included because of their cliché factor. Like "thinking outside the box" and "blue-sky thinking," their overuse means they no longer catch our attention.


4. It's not rocket science: Used most often when pointing out to someone that the task he's been asked to complete isn't, in fact, complicated. "After all, it's not rocket science."


5. The ball's in your court: This phrase is usually thrown around (pun intended) to let others know that you've reached your limit with regard to handling a situation. "I've now done everything I can. After this, the ball's in your court."


6. Drill down: This is too often used to denote the vigor with which a person or team will be pursuing an objective. "Yes, Bob and I are really going to drill down on that."


The following three made my list thanks to their redundancy:


7. I, personally: Since something that is said by you is, by definition, personal, I see no need to include both words. For example, when you take the "personally" out of the following sentence, the meaning doesn't change. "Well, I, personally, don't think that X should take precedence over Y."


8. Quite unique (and its compatriots "very unique," "really unique" and "most unique"): Despite the fact that things that are unique can't be qualified, I see this all the time. "Our store has the most unique items." Um ... no. You can, however, say, "Our store is filled with unique items." I have no trouble with that.


9. Past history: This one drives me wild every time I hear it, "Well, based on past history ..." History is, by definition, something that occurred in the past, so why on earth say "past"?


And, finally, the most overused phrase in a business context:


10. Urgent (and its frequent companion "crisis"): I include these because, as I'm sure you've discovered, the use of either, or both, of these words does little to resolve what might be going on. Instead, they either ratchet up the tension or make others wonder why you are so out of control.


What do I recommend you use instead? I would substitute the use of "immediate" for "urgent," and "situation" for "crisis," as both convey the need for action but leave others room to bring their own skills and intelligence to bear -- while reflecting well on your own.

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"Our store has the most unique items."

Depends on your use of most...
Most unique used in the sense of 'this item is more unique than that one' AGREED!
However what about if it is used in the sense of 'our store has the mostin number of unique items'

pedantic, huh?! lol
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not as special as mine, they are really very mostest unique.


MB, what about...


you ask a rep if she has any stocks of a particular item.


Instead of just saying no, she could point to another 'last one on the shelf' item and declare thats its unique, then advise the item you are seeking is even more unique

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Originally Posted By: Mamabear
"Our store has the most unique items."

Depends on your use of most...
Most unique used in the sense of 'this item is more unique than that one' AGREED!

To be really pedantic, unique means one of a kind. So "most unique" has no meaning - other than to indicate a lack of understanding of the term. An item cannot be "more unique" than any other. An item is either unique or not, end of!

From dictionary.com ...

1. existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
3. limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area: a species unique to Australia.
4. limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities: Certain types of problems have unique solutions.
5. not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.

Even #5 above, I have issues with. As I understand it, there are NO degrees of uniqueness, so "very unique" also has no meaning.
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I think you missed my rather silly point JA.


I was agreeing with you on the first point but pointing out that the sentence "Our store has the most unique items' could be interpreted as...


"..in our store we stock the greatest number of one of a kind pieces of all the stores.."


yeah? confused


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OK, mama, concede that point. However, there is a need for some indication of the meaning. Far better, IMHO, to avoid altogether.


It is one of the things that annoy the heck out of me. Not a teacher of English (as a subject) but definitely an english teacher.

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oh JA I hear you.

As an interpreter from English, and into English, I am used to extrapolating meaning, but some people are just hopeless. I have patient days and less patient days - less patient days see me stopping interpreting and asking the speaker to clarify their meaning - always goes over well that!


(excuse shoddy response - one finger typing w/left hand - right shoulder OUCH!)

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Deaf Sign Language (Auslan), GG. It has a very different grammatical structure to English, and the process has allowed me to really understand my first language (English) with much more depth than if I was just frolicking around being a native speaker.


I interpret from Auslan into English

And from English into Auslan.


It is probably the same for people working as interpreters of other languages - but I wouldn't know as I don't interpret in any other language. I certainly haven't had the same impact from my time learning other spoken languages - but none of the spoken languages I have dabbled with have got any where near the fluent stage - let alone professional interpreting standard.


As a 'terp I have had the experience where I have been podium/stage interpreting for guest speakers and while you are transmitting the 'words' they speak you are wishing a hole would open up and swallow you because none of what they say is making any kind of sense at all, just big words strung together without meaning or intent. And while you are just the animate communication device I hate the thought that my Deaf audience is thinking that the lack of meaning is on MY end and my interpretation is crap! dance

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Actually speaking of that ... my work environment is quite (no I shall not say unique) unusual.. so our work stoopids are a bit different from the norm. I will share a few with you.


slap Yes I AM a sign language interpreter - and NO...I do not read Braille! (you would be surprised how often I hear this one).


slap "ah! you are the sign language interpreter. Are you deaf?"


slap "What? You did not bring the client with you? How are they getting here? They can't drive can they?"


slap "Can....you....please....tell...them..." doh


slap "I'm confused. Who is talking? You or her/him."


thumbsup The best one I had was from a medical professional. "I am just going to put these drops into her eyes. Then we can have a long chat about treatment options and post procedure care while we wait for her vision to come back to go home." (ummm hello....INTERPRETER ... not carer! slap) If she is deaf AND BLIND then we ain't gonna have that conversation now are we?! rollabout

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