The Dangers of Slang in the Workplace
Parents of teenagers know that sometimes it feels like your kid is speaking a foreign language. And just as you master a few words in order to look “cool” (Do they still use that word?), they are on to new terms. Sorry, Mom, epic fail.
In the workplace, however, watch that you aren’t the one assuming that everyone else understands your slang. As this article points out, non-native speakers of English often have difficulty understanding American idioms. Likewise, older workers may not be familiar with certain terms used nowadays.
The rise of shorthand lingo that has evolved from texting and social media complicates matters further. While peppering correspondence with “OMG” (Oh My God) or “GTG” (Got to Go) might seem perfectly natural to some people, such terms turn into a game of crack the code for others. Your recipient shouldn’t have to play guessing games. (Some people have been known to interpret “LOL” as “Lots of Love” rather than “Laugh out Loud,” which could lead to some awkwardness next time you pass at the water cooler.)
Also, be aware that your choice of words/terms reflects on you and your company. A person who works in marketing may be looked at positively for conversing in the latest slang; someone in the legal department may just come off as immature.
Lastly, if you aren’t exactly sure of the meaning of a term, don’t try to use it. You may get slapped if you tell your co-worker that the two of you should “hook up” later and each of you has a different interpretation of the phrase.