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I'm looking for a word that describe quick exchanges of information that happen in a team or between people that know each other (colleagues for example).

Questions, queries and requests are too specific because they imply somebody "asking" something. Update is also too exclusive because of the it's "informative" nature.


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(information) sharing? – ermanen Jun 6 '14 at 19:50
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Consider touch base:

(idiomatic, colloquial, US, Canada, usually with "with") (derived from the baseball term) To consult, visit, or communicate. [eg] Touch base with your boss before you start work to make sure you understand the project.

It is a verb that refers to the act of exchanging information, or of quickly synchronizing or coordinating plans, rather than being a noun that names the situation. Verb check in has a similar sense:

2.To contact another person in order to keep the other person informed of one's situation.

The noun confab (“A casual talk or chat”) sometimes is used to refer to brief consultations among colleagues.

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Perfect! Thank you so much! – aout Jun 8 '14 at 20:51

I think you could call that kind of communication shorthand or shorthand communication.

One of its definitions is:

a shorter or quicker way of saying something


a simplified or abbreviated form or system of communicating

This article on shorthand communication among team members states:

Team members highly attuned to one another can often develop a pattern of short-hand communication based on an understanding that some things do not have to be stated explicitly because the information is already shared between them. Reaching such a high level of closeness and understanding between team mates makes communication efficient, which allows more time for productivity and for the critical element of personal bonding.

Note that it seems to be a matter of style about whether to hyphenate shorthand.

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Thanks you man! – aout Jun 8 '14 at 20:52

Would "conversation" do? It describes "an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people : the act of talking in an informal way" (Merriam-Webster online).

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I'm looking for something shorter in term of duration (or with fewer "interactions"). The goal is really to describe something that is insanely quick. For example when I ask my coworker a Yes/No question or when I come in and say "Meeting today 6pm" and everybody say "OK". – aout Jun 6 '14 at 16:05
perhaps an "update", then? – Matt Gutting Jun 6 '14 at 16:12
As I said before "update" would only describe something declarative. It would match in terms of swiftness and formality of the interaction but it would exclude questions. – aout Jun 6 '14 at 16:16
Ah, you did say that: but then "Meeting today 6 PM ... OK" would not be the sort of thing you're trying to describe, correct? That sort of thing I would call an update (the mere fact that you're getting assent to it doesn't change the nature of the interaction, in my opinion.) – Matt Gutting Jun 6 '14 at 16:19
Sure, "update" is the perfect word for one of the two things I try to describe. I also said "when I ask my coworker a Yes/No question" which implies a true exchange of information (knowledge or opinion). – aout Jun 6 '14 at 16:23


But a better way may be to qualify communications:

  • pithy
  • efficient
  • curt
  • sagacious
  • minimal
  • acuminous
  • breviloquent
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I suggest intercommunication that is:

the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information through any form of communication.

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"conveying information through any form of communication" doesn't seem to match the "quick / informal / team" sense I'm trying to get. – aout Jun 7 '14 at 11:11
For a more informal context I'd use 'cross sharing of information'. – Josh61 Jun 7 '14 at 13:21

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