People really hate the way we talk at work

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal Feb 27, 2020
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A London office building in 2013. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

People really hate the way we talk at work

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal Feb 27, 2020
A London office building in 2013. Oli Scarff/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Terms like “circle back,” “optics,” and “capacity,” used frequently in American offices, are rarely heard outside of the workplace. “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Olga Khazan, a staff writer at The Atlantic, about her reporting on corporate buzzwords and why people find them so annoying.

“They’re annoying because we find the tasks that are associated with them annoying,” Khazan said. “‘Circling back’ and ‘touching base’ are kind of interlinked with having to follow up on some tedious thing that you don’t want to be thinking about anymore.”

Despite many people’s dislike for these terms, Khazan doesn’t think we’re going to stop using them.

“It’s kind of a shorthand, in some cases,” Khazan said. “It obviously makes you look good to the boss if you speak the language they made up for you to speak.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

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