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Questions tagged [business-language]

Terminology, etiquette, and conventions used when doing business in English.

10
votes
3answers
49k views

Which preposition to use in “communication [over, by, through, via, with] email”? [closed]

Which of these is most correct, and why? Our team kept in constant communication over email. Our team kept in constant communication by email. Our team kept in constant communication through email. ...
10
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the plural of Prius?

What would be the correct plural of Prius, and why? A Latin professor would say Prium’s the best...
38
votes
4answers
379k views

Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but I ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it bad behavior to add filler words such as “so”, “um” in business speak?

Sometimes when I speak with my fellows at work, I start my sentences with "so" or "um". I don't know if this a bad behavior in business speak or not? If so, how can I get rid of those filler words?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Word or phrase for mere coincidence that brings happiness

I wish to state that my exposure to a certain area was a mere coincidence, and I am happy about the area. Moreover, I want to convey the idea that the incident was like a fairytale, something no one ...
43
votes
18answers
11k views

Word for a task which is flawed or doomed to failure but which you have to do anyway?

I'm looking for a word which describes a task which I think is poorly designed and will lead to either mediocre results or failure, but which I have to do anyway, especially in a work setting. The ...
13
votes
1answer
101k views

“personal issue”, “private issue”, “personal affair”, or “personal business”?

I need to send my boss mail explaining that because of a personal issue I need to handle, I can’t attend the conference. Which of these phrases would best express that I have my own business to deal ...
28
votes
8answers
24k views

Can or should “ask” ever be used as a noun?

"The ask is that you provide me with..." I started hearing "ask" being used as a noun a few years ago. Is this a recent trend? Is it an East Coast thing, unique to North America, or just unique to ...
20
votes
8answers
118k views

What is the meaning of the expression “We can table this”?

This came up in an email discussion - we are arguing about the merits and demerits of a certain approach, and I mentioned what I thought was a drawback to a scheme. To that, my colleague replied : "...
6
votes
6answers
53k views

“Out of the box” — when should I use this phrase?

I send a lot of unsolicited emails. In many of them, I ask to buy traditional advertising spots or to help conceive a non-traditional campaign. Oftentimes, I find myself describing these non-...
15
votes
8answers
64k views

“Does it make sense?” or “Do you understand me?”? [closed]

Suppose I tell something to my companion and I want to make sure he understands me. I thought I may simply ask "Do you understand me?". But recently I heard that in such cases I should ask "Does that ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

Is “premises” always plural?

On-premises ... On-premise I see these terms frequently used to describe software systems hosted within a company's datacenter vs. software systems hosted externally by a third party (in the "cloud")....
6
votes
1answer
479 views

OED Appeals: Antedatings of “headhunter”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: headhunter noun earlier than 1960 The tribal practice of decapitating enemies and ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Double Copula or “double is” in professional/technical writing

I am proofreading a professional, technical text written by someone else. In the text, I encountered, "But, the reality is is a..." My intuition says that this should be rewritten as, "But, the ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

What is the antonym of Consignment sale?

I have a question regarding terms for trade and commerce. What is the antonym of 'consignment sale'? On consignment sale basis, sellers just keep the goods and pay manufacturers or suppliers only when ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Company Name as Verb [duplicate]

I am looking for interesting classroom material. Google is both the name of a company and also a verb. Is there a name for this type of verb? Are there any other examples of this type of verb?
3
votes
3answers
25k views

Capitalizing “the” when mid-sentence in a company name?

Consider a company called: The Association of Examples Ltd. When you refer to this company, should you have to capitalize "the" when it's mid-sentence and would have been used even if it wasn't in ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

A common term for Promote/Demote?

I have been working on a software where there is a section to promote and/or demote other users. For last two days, I have been thinking and searching for a common term to group both of these terms ...
110
votes
11answers
124k views

Can “thanks in advance” be considered rude? [closed]

Some argue that because “thanks in advance” is written before any help has been offered, it adds an expectation of help and thus can be considered presumptuous. Is this reasonable? Would it be ...
19
votes
6answers
14k views

Asking female employees to come to my room [closed]

I have a few female employees working at my office, and being a manager, I need to text them via Skype or Messenger to come to my room. How can I ask them politely to come? Please come to my room ...
11
votes
8answers
83k views

Is “solutioning” a correct word?

My Outlook flags the word "solutioning" as a spelling mistake. According to Urban Dictionary : solutioning: A word many business people misuse to describe the process of creating a solution. ...
4
votes
2answers
64k views

Stock quantity of products — the most proper abbreviation

What is a commonly accepted abbreviation with regard to stock quantity of (countable) products? As in: "200 units" of sth, just shorter. I've come across the form "200 pc.", but as it's coming from ...
11
votes
5answers
60k views

Appropriate to start business email or letter with just “Dear,”?

Is it appropriate to start a business letter or email with just "Dear,"? I specifically refer to the case where there is no noun following "Dear,", so no "Dear All,", or "Dear Mr.,", or "Dear ...
13
votes
5answers
37k views

How to use the term “carbon copy” in business emails?

How does one use the term "carbon copy" in an email setting? Some options that come to mind are: In carbon copy is my manager. I'm leaving my manager in carbon copy. My manager is in carbon copy. ...
9
votes
3answers
41k views

What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”?

When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?
6
votes
3answers
669 views

Word to describe a company that pretends to do the right thing? [closed]

What word(s) would you use to describe a business or company that pretends to do the legal/right thing regarding employees, but in reality the company does not care. This issue pertains to legalities ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

alternatives for “guy”

I'm working in an English big company in Germany. Everybody speak English but most of us as second, or third language. One thing I noticed is that we are all "guys" in the office: "Ask the guy up ...
5
votes
4answers
882 views

What is the origin of “pre-plan”?

Although I searched fairly extensively, I couldn't find any references as to the origins of pre-plan. According to Online Etymology Dictionary, pre-arranged and prearranged have existed since 1792 ...
5
votes
5answers
11k views

How should “The Cloud” be capitalized?

"We are migrating our core systems into (1) The Cloud ... or (2) the cloud ... or (3) the Cloud???" I've googled (Googled?) this and found the usual range of differing opinions but as yet no ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

What does the word “hacking” or “hacker” come from? [closed]

Is there a history behind the word "hacker" and "hacking"? Could it have anything to do with "hashing" i.e. using a hash function?
3
votes
2answers
21k views

Polite way of calling someone for help

At work, how can I say "whenever you are ready I am ready." I would like to say "I am ready so please help me when you are available." Here is my full email: Hello #### Whenever you are ...
0
votes
2answers
876 views

Why did ‘off-the-shelf' come to mean ‘in stock, ready-made, and easily available’?

I came across the word “off-the-shelf” in the following sentence of Time magazine’s article “The 50 Best Inventions of the Years (Nov.11 issue). He (inventor of the first synthetic cell) started with ...
11
votes
8answers
32k views

What is a one-person business called?

I'm wondering what is the term for the person, that is doing business on his/her own and has tax liability. It's different in each country, I'd like to know how they are called in USA and UK.
8
votes
2answers
282 views

Non-union-affiliated shop steward

I'm looking for an English word or short phrase to convey a meaning which is similar to “union representative” or “shop steward”, except that the person in question is not (necessarily) associated ...
4
votes
3answers
33k views

Can I change how to accomplish something once someone says “or something to that effect”?

I periodically get a broad description of how to perhaps solve a problem at work but then at the end of the email the phrase "or something to that effect" is included. Does that mean - 'just get me ...
2
votes
2answers
373 views

Why “buy authentic”?

Authentic means: “of undisputed origin, made or done in a traditional way”. But I’m confused because every product made had some origin from a previous product or idea. The way I see it, buy ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

How would you call someone who is working part-time as a student (Werkstudent in German)

I'm struggling finding a term for a job rank for a part-time working student to use it for my CV or in general in the whole interview process: In Germany we don't only have interns, but something ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the best way to say that something was done in teamwork?

In my resume, I'm describing several projects I've worked on in the past. Most of them were done in teamwork. What is the best way to say this? Examples: Together with XY, I built ... OR In ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Using exclamation points as part of a brand name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? I am editing a text about a product whose name contains an exclamation point as the final glyph....