Article 4— Please stay on topic

Title: What’s Your Office Communication Pet Peeve?
Author: Grammarly Team
Date of publication: March 08, 2017
Place of publication: Grammarly
Web address:

The brief article discusses what are seen as “Office Pet Peeves“, in relation to language used in electronic communication, such as Email, or instant messaging clients such as Slack. These pet peeves ultimately can lead to frustration and eye rolling, as the article outlines. Topics such as business speak, over discussion and overuse of emotionally driven language are discussed. In addition, commenters are encouraged to offer their own takes on this issue. They added, people who have poor topic management, avoidance of questions and overuse of punctuation such as exclamation marks all serve as “Office Pet Peeves“.

The use of jargon is mentioned, by way of “Business speak”, which generally can be inferred as a type of language that is not understandable outside the field of knowledge. As such, making it jargon specific to the business, and the sub groups also. While Jargon may have it’s uses, it is clear that it may be overused in some office style contexts, as such leading to a disjointed, wordy and unnecessary conversation between the participants.

There is clear trend in corporate environments choosing to opt to use non standard English in inter office communications, adopting the same tone as a friend would use over Facebook. Things that are included in this realm include slang, improper use of punctuation, the continual use of double question marks or exclamation marks. It is clear that while this type of communication is okay between two friends, it can come across as unprofessional between two coworkers, with no personal standing. There is an expected formality, and as such, the use of non standard English degrades at such concept.

One key issue found in office communications is topic management, and the ability for interlocutors to deviate from said topic, to potentially avoid certain questions. While this is okay in a personal setting, this can pose an issue in the office environment, as workers have set objectives they need to fulfil, and as such, going off topic can hinder this process.

While I have not had extensive experience in the work force, many of these issues are things that I have been exposed to, when working in group situations. Similar to the workforce, group situations typically have a set objective, and as such, certain elements mentioned, such as non standard English, Jargon and poor topic management can pose big issues. Even in simple situations such as organising a night out in a group chat, when people choose to go off topic, ask unnecessary questions, it can really pose an issue of achieving any real progress. As such, I believe that this type of activity can pose an issue, when trying to complete set objectives. In addition, the use of jargon simple can be confusing at best for many who are “not in the know”, and as such may serve as intimation for some new employees.

“habits collide, frustration and eye-rolling ensues”

“responding to an email with a particular topic in the subject line/thread, but switching to a completely different topic’

“Academics are famous for thinking they save time by ignoring the unwritten rules“

“double question marks in a sentence. It gets worse when they don’t even ask a question.”

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