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Just want to moan about 'reached out'

(26 Posts)
Pipbin Fri 01-May-15 21:56:03

I'm watching an American drama on Netflix and I'm getting increasingly irritated by the phrase 'reached out', meaning 'contacted'.

That is all.

MirandaGoshawk Sat 02-May-15 22:15:19

YABU. It's American. They are allowed to use American English. Sorry. I wouldn't watch it, personally, as it would drive me nuts.

I watch Montalbano and try to, unsuccessfully brush up on my Italian grin

SenecaFalls Sun 03-May-15 19:17:04

"Reach out" has a somewhat different connotation than "contact" in the US.

jugglingmonkey Sun 03-May-15 19:18:06

It's killing me... I have a new member of staff in my team who uses it frequently. Not American, she's very British... Grrrrrrrr!!!!

Squeegle Sun 03-May-15 19:20:24

It is an awful phrase which is arriving over here and is being used by my marketing colleagues with ever increasing gay abandon. I hate it. Please let's send reaching it to Coventry.

Pipbin Sun 03-May-15 19:23:25

"Reach out" has a somewhat different connotation than "contact" in the US.

Like what? When ever I have heard it used it seems to mean the same thing. Unless you are thinking of reach round, now that is a different thing entirely.

I've heard it in English programs too.

SenecaFalls Sun 03-May-15 19:25:51

It usually has a more emotive, friendlier connotation.

BitOfFun Sun 03-May-15 19:27:13

It does sort of mean contact, I think, but with the added connotation of touchy-feely emotional stuff that the business world likes to adopt to help them get more of our money off us.

SenecaFalls Sun 03-May-15 19:32:17

I'll give you an example that happened to me just his past week. My colleague's mother died suddenly and she had to leave town with a lot of things that needed covering at work. My boss asked me to "contact" someone on the outside to let them know that I would cover a meeting for my colleague and she (my boss) also asked me to "reach out" to my colleague and let her know if I could handle any of the other matters for her.

Pipbin Sun 03-May-15 19:35:56

I get it in the manner of looking for some emotional help. 'My friend reached out to me after the death of her mother.'
But I have heard it used like this: "I have reached out to colleagues in the FBI.' 'I'm going to reach out to to some of my hit men.' Not so touchy feely.

SenecaFalls Sun 03-May-15 19:39:26

Well, no, that last example would not be an appropriate use of "reach out." grin What in the world were you watching, OP?

BitOfFun Sun 03-May-15 19:40:28

That's what they are going for though- tying emotional concepts to business language. Your hitman example just neatly illustrates why it's fundamentally inappropriate.

Pipbin Sun 03-May-15 19:48:47

I was watching Dare Devil.

In a couple of series though I have heard it used in every situation where I would say contact, call, email, etc, not just the emotional 'reach out and help' way mentioned above.

BitOfFun Sun 03-May-15 19:55:38

Yes. That's because there is a tendency for Americanised business-speak to try and co-opt the positive connotations of certain terms to make people feel better about being fleeced. Then it becomes just a lazy habit of speech, and before you know it, some scriptwriter starts using it in a historical drama and we've all gone to hell in a handcart.

Pipbin Tue 05-May-15 21:30:56

So it was used twice in the episode of Daredevil I just watched. First one was to say that someone's doctor had been contacted, 'I reached out to Doctor Smith'. The second was suggesting that someone contact a crime overlord type.
Nothing touchy-feely about either of them.

Icimoi Wed 13-May-15 07:46:40

Someone I deal with at work constantly uses this term; he keeps telling me he's going to reach out to me to fix up meetings etc, and he also talks about reaching out to someone I know he cordially dislikes. I'm afraid it tends to give me the giggles.

nornironrock Sat 16-May-15 08:06:22

Annoying, yes... But surely nowhere near as bad as the dreaded "touching base". Are we playing baseball, or arranging a quick phone call?

claraschu Sat 16-May-15 08:13:46

I don't like "contact" as a verb either. It sounds very inelegant and American, in the Mumsnet sense of the word, to me. (I am American.)

Pipbin Sat 16-May-15 08:45:29

What would you say instead Clara (not goady, just curious)?

KoalaDownUnder Sat 16-May-15 08:53:00

Totally agree, OP.

'Reach out' is overused and totally irritating at this point. Same as 'going forward'. What's wrong with 'in future'? angry

claraschu Sat 16-May-15 09:20:00

I would use a specific word: email, phone, write, etc, or I would say: "Get in touch with" if I wanted to be vague. I know that I am being fussy and that "contact" is actually a useful verb, but it grates on my ears, and this is Pedant's Corner, so I am allowed to be persnickety.

claraschu Sat 16-May-15 09:22:09

On second thoughts, I don't love: "get in touch with" either, but I might use it if I were not feeling fastidious.

CuttedUpPear Sat 16-May-15 09:42:06

I was sent a customer survey by some company whose name I can't recall at present.

Their opening gambit was to thank me for reaching out to them.

I enjoyed telling them that our business relationship was over due to their use of the term.

SenecaFalls Sat 16-May-15 17:19:19

Are we playing baseball, or arranging a quick phone call?

Are British folk playing cricket when they say "off your own bat?"

Wordsaremything Wed 27-May-15 19:44:50

Bit of fun- you skewered it! Also , in the same vein, I loathe the use of ' shared with' which at first seemed to stand for 'confided in' but now apparently means ' talked to' ( or at) .

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