What does the acronym IRDR stand for

Office language: do you speak office?

Dominate Office language? Hardly any company can do without them: Cryptic abbreviations, acronyms and technical jargon that looks like a salad of letters and gibberish sauce to outsiders and might make many a secret service green with envy. Except for the sender and a few insiders, nobody understands that. However, there is almost never any bad intent behind this, but simply an established corporate culture - or extreme laziness in writing. In the event that you are new to the job and have not yet deciphered its language habits, we have put together the most common and important office abbreviations, phrases and codes, including translations ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Office language: habit at the expense of communication?

Language is not just a means of communication - it is also always expressive Affiliation such as regional dialects.

It's not much different in the job: There are generally valid abbreviations and codes (see below). Almost every corporate culture develops its own over time Language codes, jargons and company Latin, which outsiders cannot (and should not) understand and which is a signal for the initiated: I am one of you, I speak your language!

However - and this is the first danger - there are always a few colleagues in the office who use these expressions and acronyms, precisely because they want to show that they belong, but at the same time don't really know what they mean. This can sometimes lead to embarrassing situations ...

The second danger: exaggeration. Or as Paracelsus would say: The dose makes the poison. Nothing against a few quick e-mails and time-saving shortcuts. But if you overdo it, you end up writing emails of the type ...

Re. Ctrl project AB12
FYI: Have to move asap deadline, IMHO a real killer. Will you take care of it until 1700? After that I'm OoO. And btw TGIF!
Thx, CU!
Kind regards

All fine? Such excessive use of abbreviations makes real communication almost impossible and often causes ...

  • unnecessary misunderstandings.
  • Friction and conflict between colleagues.
  • additional (and annoying) to ask.

Be careful with abbreviations in customer communication

Even if all employees and team members master and understand the abbreviations in their sleep - towards customers and business partners this office language is of course taboo. Because such codes and abbreviations not only exclude, but are simply misunderstood or incomprehensible.

Moreover, an abbreviated communication can be used as a sign lack of appreciation and lack of professionalism be perceived.

The problem with that: we all tend to Operational blindness. Once the terms have become second nature to you, you take them for granted (literally) and easily forgets to switch to external communication.

That is a general one Dilemma of language habits and customs in an industry: Anyone who does not master the technical jargon quickly raises doubts about his competence. But if our counterpart only understands the train station, we discredit ourselves as a detached nerd and communication dilettante.

The golden mean here is often: learn, know and understand all the necessary vocabulary, abbreviations and acronyms - but at most use dosed.

Important abbreviations & acronyms from office language

Speaking of learning and understanding: Of course, we cannot decipher every culture-specific jargon here (you are welcome to expand the collection by commenting), but the most important abbreviations and acronyms in the job or we have an office here in alphabetic order listed.

You can of course also read the list like a small self-test: Are you already speaking office?

  • Asap - Like many of the following acronyms, this abbreviation also comes from English and stands for "as soon as possible" - in German: "as soon as possible", in urgent cases also: "until yesterday!". Results that should be available asap are therefore important and urgent (see Eisenhower principle). If you want to go a step further here, write the increase asapst. Anyone reading this knows: the hut is on fire.
  • btw - This acronym stands for "by the way" and means something like "by the way". In the office it is often used to attach additional information that is not directly related to the actual message.
  • CC - You are familiar with this abbreviation from daily e-mails that are sent to several recipients at the same time. "Cc" stands for "Carbon Copy" and actually comes from the pre-copier era. In front of the copiers, copies were made by hand with carbon paper or carbon paper - hence the name. The well-known abbreviation "BCC" stands for "Blind Carbon Copy" - a secret copy that the recipient does not notice.
  • CEO - In terms of function and position, the “Chief Executive Officer” roughly corresponds to the German CEO. In larger companies he is often supported by a COO, a “Chief Operating Officer”. This is always the case when the tasks of the CEO are of a more strategic nature and the COO takes care of the operational business accordingly.
  • C.t. - This abbreviation is not that common and is more likely to be used at social events and business lunches. “C.t.” stands for the Latin “cum tempore”, which translates as “with time”. The abbreviation is mostly used in connection with appointments and allows you to be somewhat late in appearing. The abbreviation can be used with the well-known academic quarter hour equate. For events starting with "s.t." (sine tempore) are noted, however, they appear exactly to the minute.
  • CU - The English short form for "see you" (roughly translated: See you!) should be treated with caution in business life - too succinct. Although it can be found in many e-mails from English-speaking business partners, it is only really appropriate if you have known each other well and long enough and if there is a trusting relationship.
  • Dr. h.c. - The addition h.c. makes it clear that this is an honorary title, because h.c. stands for “honoris causa”. A doctorate does not have to be behind the title, it is now also awarded to people who have made a name for themselves in science or society. That doesn't make the title any less important, on the contrary: Many a holder attach more importance to their honorary title than to a “real” doctorate with a doctorate.
  • Fubar - A drastic abbreviation from the technical language for a thing that is irretrievably lost: "fucked up beyond all repair". In office language, this can be used to describe not only broken technical devices, but also failed negotiations.
  • FYI - This short form for "for your interest" or "for your information" also comes from the English-speaking world. So in German one would write: "for information". However, FYI has become the standard commentary in international business. If an e-mail or message is introduced in this way, you should read it, but usually do not have to react to it. If you want to point out the humorous content of your email right from the start, use FYA, "for your amusement", in German: For your / your pleasure.
  • HP - Describes the so-called High potentials, i.e. the next generation of managers from whom one hopes for great things.
  • HSE managerHuman resources or HR managers for short are now established in German usage. The HSE manager is different. Many employees still struggle with that. HSE stands for Health, Safety and Environment - The relevant manager is therefore responsible for occupational safety, health management and environmental protection issues. As the topic of sustainability becomes more and more important, the number of HSE managers is also growing.
  • IMO - Also a popular addition to acronym. It stands for "in my opinion" (In my opinion…) and is intended to express that this is not about facts, but a personal assessment. If you like it a little more submissive, write "IMHO" - "in my humble opinion" (IMHO). But be careful: the modesty is often just a play. Anyone who writes like this doesn't really want to be convinced otherwise.
  • KISS - Of course, this is not about physically flirting in the office - even if such associations were desired for better memorability. Behind this, however, is an important problem-solving principle and acronym, which originally stood for "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"Just do it, fool!) was standing. Because the request does not sound very charming, KISS is translated today as "Keep It Short and Simple" - in German: Make it short and easy! Many meetings, presentations and many e-mails would do well to take this principle into account.
  • OoO - "Out-of-order" signs are appearing more and more often on elevators and escalators - also in this country. In the office context, however, the acronym stands for something different and is used more in automatic e-mails: "OoO" stands for "Out of office" and lets the recipient know that the contact is "not in the office" and he is with one It is better not to expect a quick response to his e-mail.
  • Tba - The abbreviation is often used when assigning tasks or defining appointments. In short, it is a placeholder and stands for “to be announced”. Does that mean the framework of the event has not yet been completely determined - the place, time, space or actors still have to be named and submitted later. But you should make a note of the date, at least what is known.
  • TGIF - If the colleagues were already sending e-mails with the abbreviation TGIF on Friday morning, the week was probably stressful and exhausting. Behind the expression is the English sigh "Thank god it's friday" - Thank God, it's Friday! So soon the weekend. If this abbreviation becomes the norm at the end of each week - and it's serious - you should perhaps be wondering if you are really in the right job or company.
  • THX - There is no new sound system from George Lucas behind it, but the short form of the English "thanks" - meaning "Thank you". So succinctly it should only be reserved for good friends.
  • WOMBAT - No, it is not an animal, but a devastating judgment if a project is rated that way in the end. This acronym stands for: "waste of money, brain and time". In other words, all for nothing, money, brainpower and time wasted.

Other, but seldom used, English abbreviations

  • AFAIC - "As Far As I'm Concerned" - "As far as I'm concerned"
  • AFAICT - "As Far As I can tell" - "As far as I can tell"
  • AFAIK - "As Far As I Know" - "As far as I know"
  • AFAIR - "As Far As I Remember" - "As far as I remember"
  • AISI - "As I see it" - "As I see it"
  • AIUI - "As I understand it" - "As I understand it"
  • AKA - "Also known as" - "Also known as"
  • BB - "Bye, Bye" - "See you soon" (German variant: BM - "Until tomorrow")
  • BTAIM - "Be that as it may" - "Anyway"
  • BTDT - "Been there, done that" - "I was there and tried it myself"
  • EOBD - "End Of Business Day" - "End of the working day"
  • FOAD - "Fuck Off And Die" - "Go die!"
  • FYEO / 4YEO - "For Your Eyes Only" - "Only intended for your eyes"
  • G2G - "(I've) Got To Go" - "I have to go"
  • Burr - "Congratulations" - "Congratulations!"
  • HAND - "Have a nice day" - "Have a nice day"
  • HTH - "Hope this helps" - "I hope that helps."
  • IOW - "In other words" - "In other words"
  • JFTR - "Just for the record (s)" - "(Only) for the record"
  • LMGTFY - "Let Me Google That For You" - "I'll google that for you"
  • MOTD - "Message Of The Day" - "Message of the Day"
  • NSFW - "Not suitable for work" - "Unsuitable for the workplace"
  • PEBKAC - "Problem exists between keyboard and chair" - "Problem exists between keyboard and chair"
  • POV - "Point of view" - "Point of view / standpoint"
  • QFT - "Quoted For Truth" - "Quoted for the truth"
  • RTFM - "Read the fucking manual" - "Read the damn manual!"
  • SCNR - "Sorry, Could Not Resist" - "Sorry, I couldn't help it"
  • SRY - "Sorry" - "Sorry"
  • TBH - "to be honest" - "to be honest"
  • TMI - "Too Much Information" - "Too many details"
  • YMMD - "You made my day" - "You made my day sweeter"
  • YOLO - "You only live once" - "You only live once."

Typical codes of office language

Above all, the is known for its own office language Consultant and agency scenewhich has developed its very own Denglish with a mixture of German terms and Anglicisms. Much of it has long spilled over into other industries and is partly due to internationality.

Codes and abbreviations live in peaceful coexistence with English language terms. We have compiled the most common ones here:

  • Enjoy the meal

    - This somewhat old-fashioned word fulfills several functions. It actually means food. In the hallway, it serves as a typical greeting for oncoming colleagues from late morning onwards instead of a “hello” or “good afternoon”. And at lunch in the canteen, it actually replaces the usual "good appetite".

  • Shelf P

    - A classic in office communication. The P stands for waste paper bin and the filing system for good organization. However, if a suggestion is in Shelf P classified, this never appears again. "Filing P" sounds nicer than: "The dung belongs in the trash can."

  • Go to 17

    - The idiom is mostly used in retail and industries with high customer contact. “Going to 17” elegantly describes the occasional need to go to the toilet - without explicitly saying it in front of customers. Incidentally, the number is borrowed from the also common “Trick 17” and has no deeper meaning.

In the management and IT industries, such codes are often used to problematic methods to characterize flippantly. So-called management-by concepts characterize the management style that is used in a company.

Usually, it should be geared towards coordinating teams and smooth processes to enable the goals set to be achieved. The following examples from office language show that this sometimes goes in the pants ...

  • Management by Jeans

    There are rivets everywhere at the crucial points. What is a must for the trousers of the same name means the end for a company.

  • Management by organ

    Basically says the same thing as Management by Jeans: The biggest pipes are at the crucial points.

  • Management by surprise

    Here we first act and then think about it - the (unpleasant) surprise is usually not long in coming.

  • Management by Titanic

    Despite all the planning and an impressive start, in the end the thing went bad.

  • Management by lemon squeezer

    Above all, pressure is used here in order to get the most out of the employees.Usually backfires in the long term.

All abbreviations, codes and English vocabulary as a download

For those who want to have all abbreviations at a glance at a glance, we have summarized our abbreviations from the English and German office language along with empty phrases and codes.

You can find the document here in PDF format or as a Word file for free download:

Empty phrases defuse what has been said

Codes as well cloaking phrases are often so harmless - anyone who speaks office language knows its translation and realizes that the whole thing is much more explosive. It's like testimony language: some information is hidden between the lines.

We give you five examples of typical phrases from office language that you are guaranteed to come across:

  • We have to bundle the synergy effects.

    Sounds fantastic, even if nobody knows what it means. In the end, it is often about savings, for example by merging departments. But that doesn't sound so sexy. But rather after: “The belt must be tightened. Hopefully we can still save money through the merger and the resulting layoffs. "

  • We have to focus on the core competencies.

    In plain language: The trips to neighboring areas were unsuccessful, now heads are rolling. By resorting to the tried and tested, one tries to turn things around in time.

  • We have to implement that first.

    Implementation is used in office language when new things are to be introduced and plans to be implemented. It's really just about getting started with one thing. When it comes to changes, these are sometimes implemented at any cost without first asking the workforce whether it makes sense at all - usually a (not so) clever head has thought of something without knowing the basis.

  • I have that on my screen.

    Optionally also: I've got that on my radar / I'm on it. In office language, a popular excuse when everyone else already had the impression that something was completely forgotten. You, however, make it clear: I'm busy with it, think about it - even if you didn't actually have it on your radar. But nobody sees that.

  • I still have a slot here.

    Slot means “column” or “slot” in German. In office language, you express that you still have a time gap into which you can push a smaller task or an appointment. But that doesn't sound as important as “slot”.

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January 11, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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