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Business English Training:  Vocabulary

Phrases that you should never use again

Once our tutors have taught the basics of presentation delivery in Business English to our students, we need to develop their advanced vocabulary and language.  

 

Whether you are an executive delivering a speech at your company's Annual General Meeting, participating in a team meeting with several colleagues from around the world, sending an e-mail or giving a presentation to a prospective client, errors will undermine your credibility and distract from the message that you are attempting to convey.  If you wish to have influence and add value to your organisation, consider a Business English language course from Unique Language Training.  In the meantime, avoid using these linguistic phrases ever again.

 

1. LITERALLY

NO! NO! NO!  This word is so overused and so misused that statisticians believe that it has only ever been used in the right context once in the past five years.  The true sense of the word means something that actually happened and when people use the word, they should be using the word "figuratively" instead.  The only issue with that is that it is a little more difficult to say.

 

2. I WAS LIKE

This joins "literally" in the pantheon of overused words that should never be used again.  To hear it is to hear a word so unsophisticated that the person you are talking to instantly stops listening and you do not want that.  

 

3. VIRAL

Our language teachers work in Shoreditch and San Francisco occasionally, and this word originated within the tech industry but you would be unlikely to ever hear it in either of those two places.  While marketers dream of creating a YouTube video that garners a million views in a day, it is the market that will dictate whether your video "goes viral" and not you.  

 

4. YOU KNOW

If you look at an old David Beckham video, you will notice that he uses "you know" frequently during interviews.  Luckily, he has dispensed with this affectation and while the phrase is not used so much today, it is still an annoying filler word.  If you find yourself about to say "you know", consider pausing for a moment.  

 

5. TEXT SPEAK

While our team of grammar police have heard people say "LOL" in conversation rather than laugh, the use of abbreviations and acronyms in a business email can not be forgiven.  It is unlikely that you are too busy to simply write "I look forward to meeting you later" rather than "C U L8R" so please do not do it.

 

6.   BAE

According to The Urban Dictionary, Danes use this word to mean "poop" whilst Brits and Americans use it as a substitute for "baby".  We prefer the Danish usage and hope to never hear it again in another office.

 

7.  UBER

Uber is a fine business, but the German word for "above and beyond" is frequently used by unoriginal copywriters when alluding to a new business idea:  "Uber for dogs", "Uber for curry delivery", "Uber for language training".  It is tiresome to see and instead writers should try more original language.

 

8. DISTRUPTOR/DISRUPTIVE

The intention of this word is not too dissimilar to "uber" in that the PR people are trying to say that the company is going to change the market forever.  The problem is when it is used too many times, it loses whatever little meaning it had in the first place.

 

9. REACHING OUT

You should never "reach out" to anybody when you can communicate or talk to them.  This American English expression is now used by organisations across the UK and should be banished.  

 

Would you like to improve your Business English language skills?  Contact Unique Language Training Solutions at 020 3566 0145, by e-mail or by filling out the form on this page.  

 

 

 

 

 

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