Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The most infuriating office cliché?

British animal charity The Brooke has announced the results of a survey to determine that country's most annoying office clichés. The Daily Mirror reports:

It might sound like a big ask going forward but, if you want to annoy colleagues, then cliches are the way to hit the ground running - but don't shoot the messenger.

A study has discovered that six out of 10 people think that their co-workers make fools of themselves when they utter the phrases at work.

The most common office cliche is "at the end of the day" which, as well as being a favourite saying of Premier League footballers, is used in the workplace an average of three times a day.

"What goes around, comes around" was the second most commonly heard phrase, while "it's not rocket science" was third, just ahead of "thinking outside the box". The research also found that one in three bosses had told employees not to use cliches in meetings with clients.

The poll of 3,000 people was carried out by equestrian charity The Brooke, which learned that "flogging a dead horse" was the fifth most common work phrase.

Dorcas Pratt, director of international development at the organisation, said: "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, cliches can be a great way of getting a point across and helping people to understand what you mean."

There's more at the link.

The 20 most annoying office clichés in Britain, from worst to . . . well, less bad (!) were:

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'

I wonder what the top 20 would be in America? Any ideas? Please nominate your favorites (or worst nightmares) in Comments, and let's all have a laugh.



Casey said...

I would really, really, really, love to know exactly what office situation they are in when #15 becomes appropriate to say. How has it survived long enough to become a cliche, when it would likely end in harassment charges and immediate dismissal here in the States?


Anonymous said...

In the Pentagon over the last couple of years, "Bottom Line Up Front" or "BLUF" has become trite and dog-eared. Virtually every briefing starts with "BLUF." As all cliches, it was good the first time it was used, but nevermore.


dave said...

"It is what it is." Not only is it tautology, it is an acceptance of failure without even trying.

Old NFO said...

My personal favorite is- It's not rocket surgery.

Sendarius said...

The saying I hear in the US that really annoys:
"(S)He could care less."

Used instead of the English phrase:
"(S)He could NOT care less."

Noons said...

I start beating up people when I hear "going forward" or the local version: "moving forward"...

Like: who doesn't?


Mark@Bismarck said...

'progressive' Usually means that what ever it's attached to is anything but progressive.

Knotthead said...

I get really annoyed with co-workers who want to "touch base" with me. That is at the top of my annoyance list.

Anonymous said...

i guess the comment itself is a harmless thing, but what's infuriating is the overbearing 'smugness' that accompanies it ... pavlovian conditioning perhaps