8.5 Slang Expressions for Business Professionals to Avoid

Man's mouth covered with tape in an "X" representing online reputation

We have been gathering a list of negative (as well as positive) behaviors for a class we intend to launch entitled, “Twitter: Business Ethics and Behavior.” Our original intent was an exercise around how to sell without being obnoxious, how to build authentic relationships and having a following that matters. It should come as no surprise that our focus group and crowd-sourced feedback led to the conversation itself. Semantics and syntax were at the core of most people’s impressions.

Social business in public “social media” spaces now requires professionalism. If you are using Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Orkut, Bebo or posting live video on Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler or Justin.tv for business than these are the idioms your audience thinks it’s best to avoid.  Keep in mind, your children are going to read this stuff ten years from now when they search for you online.

8.5 Slang Expressions Not to Use in Business

1.  That looks dope

2.  Dude*

3.  Brah, Bro or broddy

4.  Mang (as in, “Whas up mang?”)

5.  Hollar at me

6. Baller (unless your profession is basketball)

7. Homie

8. Come hang?

8.5 Dog, dawg or my dawgness

*Dude may be used as an expression of extreme excitement, for example, “Dude!  Excellent work on that project” – use sparingly unless you really are Jeff Bridges in character.

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  1. haha yeah these are funny but don't be a corporate drone either! If someone says homie in real life it makes sense if they use it in their social media speech too. I'd rather have someone a little funny than white washed corporate america! Yuck that's not what social media is about either! Werd.

  2. It's a tricky balance. You want to be authentic, definitely. The ability to speak well professionally, though, doesn't equate in any way to being a drone or corporate. I know a lot of independent pros, artist, designers, musicians and more that are well-spoken, down-to-earth people.

    We had several groups, though, that when looking at twitter and Facebook to hire someone for a job or a project looked at vocabulary and command of their language. If you're an independent contractor and successful – than who cares? Right? I love colorful conversation and have friends that say some of these things, usually with a dose of humor. You have to ask yourself, though, is it the reputation you want to put online, permanently.

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