‘Let’s dialogue about that over lunch, OK?’

Throw out the corporate-speak and then we’ll talk.

When someone suggests that he and I have a dialogue about something, anything, there’s one response that comes to my mind: Let’s not.

I’ll happily talk with you or have a chat with you. I’ll freely shoot the breeze or chew the fat. I’ll have a discussion, a conversation, even a tête-à-tête. But I prefer to leave the dialogue to Shakespeare.

Where did such a ridiculous use of the language come from? Do you dialogue with your children, or your hairdresser, or a taxi driver? I’ll bet my house you don’t.

Honey, I had this fascinating dialogue with Bill on the train the other day!

You wouldn’t believe what Julie told me during our dialogue!

Tell Jim that I want to have a dialogue with him immediately.

I need to dialogue with you today.

If you talk like this, how about giving it a rest—and those of us on the receiving end a break? After all, you wouldn’t say, “There are times when I monologue,” if you were admitting that you talk to yourself on occasion. So why would you dialogue with me—or anyone else—on any occasion? And what is it about the workplace that makes some people talk so artificially, when outside the office they speak like normal human beings?

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