Most common phrases at work – what would work be, sans these?

We all thrive on using common phrases to describe situations, emphasize meaning – in our day to day life and work scenarios.

It is also evident that there is a very divided school of thought around the usage / application of such phrases in day to day communication.

To those few, who do get irritated and nauseous on hearing such phrases – Remember, tools, weapons and words are not dangerous by themselves and are only as potent as their wielder 🙂

 Sample this: Every day, while we try and connect the dots, and get goaded to think outside the box, all it takes is a no brainer idea to zip through, and going forward, to hit the ground running, what we do is pluck the low hanging fruit and wish that it does not become too much on someone’s plate and by end of day / close of play, it turns out to be the best of breed ideas and you are like fish out of water, when it comes to explaining how this happened and are asked to circle back and give a heads up before it happens the next time !

Below is a sample list I pulled off from the internet plus going by what usually comes across as common place usage:

  • Touch base
  • Going forward
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Its on my radar
  • A no brainer
  • On my plate
  • End of day / Close of Play
  • Pluck low hanging / lying fruit              
  • Connect the dots
  • Hit the ground running
  • Best of breed
  • Fish out of water
  • Flog a dead horse
  • Circle back
  • Drop the ball
  • Let’s take this off-line

Whilst there is always the context factor, where such phrases are best suited to accentuate meanings, I suspect that these phrases have more or less evolved into an integral part of our sub conscious self (and possibly, also ingrained into our DNA for all we know).

In this article, I try to provide a very biased view of what life could seem like without such phrases and if we were to look at alternatives, what these might sound like?

Going forward == From now onwards and with a better / positive outlook and ignoring / learning from what ever has happened till date

Too much on my Plate == In my Inbox, In my to-do list, on my calendar, on my wishlist and in my task-list, and yes, maybe on my boss’s list as well – I just do not have the time or energy to sift through all this and make sense of it

Let’s Touch base == Lets connect with each other if we do find a time when both us are available, and can meet some common place and then discuss and find out where we go from there

Its on my radar == “I have been wanting to do this but dont know how to do this”  / “I know about this but will do this at the next opportune moment” / and even sometimes “I dont want to do anything about this”

Think(ing) outside the box == Enough of all the crap floating around, you need to start and try and do better now, for your own sake, come up with something worth (my) while!

It’s a No-brainer == It’s so easy that someone as smart as a donkey can get this done, which is why you should be able to do this in the first place

By End of Day / Close of Play == I give you 24 hours starting now and much much more, to get this working, and before Sun rises tomorrow, you better have the details.

Pluck low hanging / lying fruit ==          Lets target what is reachable (doable and practical) first, before trying to look at virtual / seemingly impossible-to-get targets. Plus, you are short, so it makes more sense to go after what you can, than break your neck trying.

Connect the dots == You dimwit, can’t you see the road signs pointing to where you want to go?

Hit the ground running == I hope you have your running shoes (and gear) on, because we will not stop while you exit, and you obviously get only one shot at it! This is the best possible way for us to cover more ground and faster. And in case you don’t land on your feet, pray that we don’t run over you!

Best of breed == This is the only thing that works (amongst everything else), and hence automatically gets classified as best-of-breed.

Take this off-line == I don’t like what you are saying, and don’t know what you are doing here. To save face (yours), let’s pretend that we will discuss this later, and I hope that you are sensible enough not to bring this up again!

Now, which semantics would we prefer? 🙂

I will then ask You, the Reader, to decide, whether these phrases are a necessity or just plain gimmick(s).


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