Most Annoying Words Used In The Office

There seems to be an on-going trend circulating on the web, featuring people letting off steam at their most hated phrases often heard in the workplace. “At the end of the day,” “Touch base,” and “Going forward” seem to be some of the most universally irritating gobbets.

So we asked around the office, and something that really winds up a lot of people seems to be the misused reflexive pronoun.

Yourself, ourselves, myself

“I have an account with yourselves,” is something we hear a lot as a B2B business. Lots of people in business context tend to misuse these pronouns in an effort to sound more formal or business-like.

At the time of writing, the green squiggly line on MS Word has appeared under “yourselves” featured in the last sentence. Word suggests that the correct word of choice is “you.” And that is true.

What is a reflexive pronoun?

Reflexive pronouns are defined as referring back to the subject of the sentence or clause.

So, the sentence, “I emailed the details to yourselves,” uses the reflexive pronoun incorrectly. But the sentence, “I emailed the details to myself,” is correct, because the subject of the sentence, me/I, is being referred back to.

So, after the swift grammar lesson…

Why do we do this? Why do we use these pronouns in a way that is not necessarily a natural way of speaking?

In a business context, it has to be said that there seems to be the impression that it is a more sophisticated way of speaking.

“I emailed the details to yourselves,” is perceived as more impressive than “I emailed the details to you.” We speak in this weird business language while liaising with colleagues and clients at work, but we wouldn’t speak like this in everyday life.

Tell us about your pet peeves

Contact us on our social media channels, and share your pet peeves in the work place. Tell us about words that grate on you, and habits that wind you up. We’d love to hear your views!

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