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A coworker always adds way too much to everything she does, in (what I think is) the effort to appear smarter and just oh-so efficient.

Using multi-syllabic words when one syllable will do. "Utilize" instead of "use" is an everyday occurrence.

Adding "solution" to the end of most processes. "It's our document copying solution" instead of "It's a copy-machine".

Adding way too many checkpoints when describing a process. Over-simplified example: instead of "Hey Bill, please tie your shoes", you'd hear "Hey Bill, those leather coverings that go on your feet, you need to take the laces...you know, those string-like items that secure them tightly to your feet...you need to take the left end of that lace and cross it over the right end of that lace and then...".

I need one word to describe these over-the-top actions. I feel like I have one on the tip of my tongue but can't find it. "Obsequious" is close but I think there's something better.

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    Sorry, are you asking for a word-suggestion (which would be off-topic here, check in English Language & Usage ), or suggestions to deal with the situation itself? – Sourav Ghosh Jun 25 at 14:54
  • Thanks, Sourav. I looked around a bit for such a thing, but my experience with StackExchange is limited to "Google pointed me to a thread here that may help me overcome an IT issue I'm having." I'll repost there... – bahnjee Jun 25 at 15:00
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this belongs on English Language & Usage – Sourav Ghosh Jun 25 at 15:01
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Perhaps "posturing" would work here to describe her actions, or perhaps you want to say she is "pretentious".

  • Thank you Jesse. "Pretentious" is probably as close as I'm going to get. – bahnjee Jun 25 at 15:08
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It’s two words, but I’m going to answer the question you’re not asking and say “pet peeve.” Your coworker’s behavior is not your responsibility or problem. You do your job, and let them do theirs.

  • @bahnjee That might be a closer topic for this site, i.e., "How to address colleague's pretentious behavior?" In there, describing how this attempt to appear erudite is impacting the office dynamic could fit well. – John Spiegel Jun 25 at 15:32

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