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I work at a large financial services company in Germany where we have rather formal ways. We have a manager who frequently uses the expression "good stuff" to comment on progress and results of anything from minor tasks to large significant projects. He does this both in bilateral situations and in large meetings.

He's a native speaker of English and I'm not, but each time I hear the expression I feel like it's completely inappropriate in our business context.

How informal is "good stuff" exactly?

  • youtube.com/watch?v=WDgq-K2oYLo – user180089 Jul 26 '16 at 18:52
  • The only definitions I found were from Urban Dictionary. So, yeah, it's very informal. – NVZ Jul 26 '16 at 18:52
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    It's less informal than "good shit". – Hot Licks Jul 26 '16 at 19:05
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    I've heard it used around the office here in the US but keep in mind that the US tends to be much less formal than other countries. Also, I'm in IT so that's very informal industry to begin with. I would not expect bankers and lawyers to use it around their clients, but in a close knit team or between co workers it's plausible for an American to use it. – ventsyv Jul 26 '16 at 19:09
  • @ventsyv Having worked for a company with offices in the US (East Coast) and London, my experience is the opposite of yours - the American business culture was much more formal. "Good stuff" sounds very natural and appropriate to me on either side of the pond. – grateful Jul 26 '16 at 19:48
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It's very informal

Good/great/lovely stuff! (informal) ​

  • something you say to encourage or praise someone:
    • "The sales figures are up this week." "Great stuff!"

(Cambridge.Dictionary)

  • I don't think it is inappropriate. If I were in the meetings I would see this use as an endearing quality (particularly if it were the Alan Partridge-esque "lovely stuff"). It would lighten the mood without showing disrespect or trivialising the situation, in my opinion.

  • This is likely to be a British/German culture difference.

  • It would be inappropriate, however, if written in a formal document.

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