Email jargon: explained

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Hot on the heels of business jargon you’ll commonly hear in most meetings, a follow on email is where these overused, and somewhat meaningless phrases really come into their own. Today, we couldn’t live without email; it’s fast, it’s efficient, but sometimes it also requires a translation service to make sense of what it is actually saying. In order for you to open your email inbox without an overwhelming sense of dread and confusion, we’ve explained some commonly used “professional” correspondence most likely to leave you scratching your head.


UntitledLooking at this with a dazed expression? This may look like text speak from the 2000s, but it actually is short for out of office. So if you receive this message, don’t be expecting an immediate response, they are either fighting the jargon themselves in a meeting somewhere or relaxing on a beach.    

Double down

double down

If you’ve ever received the words “we need to double down” from your boss I’m sure you’ve trembled with fear. What it really means is that you will be working overtime- but said in a polite roundabout fashion of course.

For Future Reference

future reference

The inquisitive, nosey or control freaks amongst us will nearly always request to be kept in the loop “for future reference”, but will most likely never refer to it ever again. These messages will probably be archived by the receiver and never found again. This person may also ask to be kept “in the loop”.

Reach out

reaching out

Basically you have received the cold call version of an email, and the sender has attempted to make it sound more personal by “reaching out” to you. A new term which is likely to stick around for some time.

Shoot me an email across


Sounds threatening in a passive aggressive manner. No longer is simply sending an email across sufficient, today it needs to be virtually shot across cyberspace. This person is implying urgency so make sure you reply to them ASAP in order to not rub them up the wrong way.

Touching base

touching base

Someone might be touching base with you should you have “accidentally” ignored their three previous messages. A polite way of chasing up on someone using baseball lingo, as you do.

Circle the wagons


This person wants to set up a meeting to discuss a topic in further detail or to bring the team together for brainstorming purposes. They will invite more people than is really necessary and circling the wagon time is more than likely to eat into your busy schedule.

Run the numbers


If you are being asked to run the numbers it is time to make sure you’ve got your facts straight. Check that everything is on time and on budget, and if in doubt get the finance department or nearest number cruncher involved.   The world of emails can be a minefield.








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