Indirectisms of the Brits ………..

English is known to be a confusing language to Foreigners because English people do not always say what they mean – they wear a ‘mask’. I am the only very direct member in a family who are very indirect/covert! This can be challenging & frustrating in the ‘communication department’!

The other day I caught up with a contact on the phone. When I asked them how their job was going, they replied: “It has its challenges.” Translation – “It’s a b******* nightmare!”

This got me thinking about verbal padding and how the British rarely say what they really mean and feel and what phrases they say.

This blog, Part 1, is a light-hearted look at the phrases that are used at work. What are your favourites?

“Your dedication has not gone unnoticed.” (but won’t be rewarded)

“I don’t know where we would be without you.” (in a better position, I’d imagine)

“It’s been really helpful you challenging our thinking.” (now get back in your box where you belong, you minion)

“You are a very valuable member of the team.” (but you’re on the redundancy list as your brilliance makes the management feel threatened)

“Would you excuse me?” (I have far too many important matters to attend to, to grace you with my presence)

“I understand what you are saying.” (I really don’t know what you are banging on about)

“You have my backing.” (you’re on your own mate!)

“I hear what you say.”
(and will ignore it and do what I planned in the first place)

“The decision had nothing to do with me.” (I chose the knife, stabbed it in your back and twisted it)

“You can be completely frank with me.” (but only if I like what you say)

“Just between you and me.” (and the rest of the office)

“Do you have a moment?” (you’re sacked)

“This won’t take long.” (just longer than it needs to because I haven’t prepared)

“Is it a convenient time to call?” (I want to speak now whether it suits you or not)

“It’s been a pleasure.” (not)

“We have a no-blame culture here.” (your card is marked)

“I love the new look.” (you look like a dog’s dinner)

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