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Stop Using These Words and Phrases to Sound Smarter at Work

Woman using phone and laptop

Photo: Getty Images

Sometimes, we want to make such a good impression at work that we throw together words to sound smarter. Grammar experts say some of these overused phrases make us sound like (and I'm paraphrasing) a pretentious tryhard.

The grammar experts at CNBC asked managers what bugs them about employee-written emails. The consensus is: too many useless words. I'm not the grammar equivalent of an overeager safety patrol but I appreciate using as few words as possible to get your point across. Radio life is having 15 seconds to be entertaining so know my eye is twitching while I type this out.

Here are the top words and phrases that annoy managers:

1. 3am in the morning

This is one of my biggest pet peeves because it's redundant. If you're giving the time as "AM", you're already saying it's morning.

2. absolutely essential

Labeling something essential already stresses how important or needed it is. You're being a tad absolutely extra.

3. actual fact

If a fact is a fact, wth is an actual fact?

4. at this point in time/at the present point in time

You don't need all that. Saying "now" is simpler and gets to the point faster.

5. depreciate in value

The word depreciate already means "to lessen in value." The redundancy is back and so is my eye twitch.

The lesson here? Say less. Literally. Click here to learn more phrases you should probably (DEFINITELY) stop using.

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