Thursday, 26 May 2011


I was in Edinburgh last week with a groups of clients and I noted that some words and phrases kept cropping up in different presentations.  Some are cliches, some are just popular at the moment:

"so on and so forth"

Now this is a phrase that I doubt people use in daily speech, but when they stand in front of a group, something strange happens. They (and I) used phrases that we have never used before.  I don't like this one - why not just say "etcetera"?


I hear this a lot during presentations and interviews.  Rather than saying "me", people say "myself" as if they want to sound clever.


Not a word that I heard until I worked for a Scottish company.  It's a commonly used word north of the border and there is nothing wrong with it - I mention it just to show how strange language can be.  Everyone knows it's meaning in Scotland, but if you ask someone in London, they assume that it's defination is 'without'.  It actually means 'outside' or 'beyond'.  For example, "the document must not be used outwith this company".


Used over and over during several sessions and not a word I have ever used.  It means 'the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result'.  I will now try and shoehorn it into conversations.

"it goes something like this..."

A phrase that my manager uses constantly.  It's his way of pausing and also emphasising that he has considered the topic carefully before.  I think that he overuses it and therefore makes it less effective.


  1. Ah... there's loads of words and phrases which I use which baffle my friends and colleagues down here.

    I hadn't been aware that "outwith" was a particular Scottishism, though... I'll need to try that out and see if the folks her in Bristol understand!

  2. I've never heard if the word outwith! I live in London.

  3. I would be interested to hear what the people of Bristol think OUTWITH means.

  4. After a wholly scientific study, it transpires that nobody had a scooby! So it must be a Scots thing!

  5. So are you saying... that outwith is not used outwith Scotland?