I have a very minor but mildly irritating issue when talking to a manager who, multiple times a day, says something akin to "run the Javascript" instead of "run the script" or "git depository" instead of "git repository".

How would I go about letting them know about this politely? Should I just let it go if since I more or less know what they mean?

Edit: Manager is typically friendly but not open to feedback.

  • 10
    Gah! Use pepper spray every time until it stops. You have to be firm. Your sanity is at stake.
    – Socrates
    Apr 15, 2016 at 22:02
  • 1
    Please provide more information on this manager. Do they seem open to feedback? Do they seem friendly? I think this will help determine the best actions to take in this case
    – Dubs
    Apr 15, 2016 at 22:15
  • 19
    Maybe start referring to it as a "git suppository." :) Apr 15, 2016 at 22:28
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How can I correct someone's incorrect use of a term in my field?
    – gnat
    Apr 16, 2016 at 8:33
  • 2
    The JavaScript thing would be annoying if you're not using JavaScript. But maybe this manager doesn't care what language it's written in, as long as it works.
    – Brandin
    Apr 16, 2016 at 19:04

3 Answers 3


Use the right words in a sentence when replying in mail/person where there has been a mistake.

e.g Them : are we done with git depository restructuring ?

You : We are are still working on the restructuring of git repository.

Rinse and Repeat.

  • 2
    I agree with this answer. If the person in question is remotely competent, s/he will quickly pick up on the correction due to the slightly unnatural structure of your response (typically you wouldn't reply by directly referencing the object in the previous sentence when there was no ambiguity). However, if your manager remains oblivious to your efforts, it may be necessary to politely correct them directly if s/he is client facing to avoid having your company look unprofessional.
    – Byte Lab
    Apr 16, 2016 at 2:44

If you understand what he's saying, then really that is all that matters. His verbal quirks do not impact on your work being done properly. I get this sort of thing a lot, since I work with many people whose English isn't great and/or have strong accents, myself included. The key is whether I understand them, if not I ask for clarification.

This wouldn't be a big enough deal (to me) to bother with trying to change the way he speaks and perhaps antagonise him over nothing. Choose your battles wisely.

  • 1
    This does not always hold true. If this manager interfaces with clients and uses such terms incorrectly it could negatively affect the business by making the team or company at large look incompetent. While I agree with Kilisi that keeping your head down is typically the best policy in regards to co-workers' annoying habits, my personal opinion is that you have an obligation to correct this behavior as someone with more technical expertise than your manager.
    – Byte Lab
    Apr 16, 2016 at 2:47
  • Perhaps, but a non tech manager has no business talking tech with a client anyway. And if I was the client, I might raise an eyebrow but that's about it. I'd be expecting to talk tech with an actual technical person anyway. BUT, if I was in a meeting with them and the OP corrected the manager in front of me, I'd raise BOTH eyebrows :-) .
    – Kilisi
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:05
  • I agree that they have no business doing so, but sadly a reality of the tech industry (especially in smaller contracting agencies) is that a LOT of managers of technical projects have a very weak technical background. Also, I think you're making a bit of an assumption about peoples' responses by assuming they'd shrug it off. Think about it -- if you were paying a company more than 100k to build you a web application (not uncommon by any means) and the manager of the project was misusing basic tech terms in daily conversation, it might put a very sour taste in your mouth.
    – Byte Lab
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:07
  • Fair enough, not something that would worry me, but I can see how that might work.
    – Kilisi
    Apr 16, 2016 at 3:10

Pretend as if you don't know what the person means. When the person explains, say, "OH! You mean ___________. Got it. What you described before doesn't mean the same thing."

This would be far more indirect than making a blunt correction.

  • 8
    If it's been going on for an extended period with obvious comprehension of the terms, then this probably won't work and will come across as being patronising.
    – Jane S
    Apr 15, 2016 at 22:40
  • Anything is better than proliferating the wrong terms, because the boss will start sharing that definition with non-technical folks. A mess in the making.
    – Xavier J
    Apr 15, 2016 at 22:42
  • 4
    I seriously doubt that the company will go under just because a manager misnames a repo. If you find it annoying, then simply correct the usage with a smile each time, and leave it at that.
    – Jane S
    Apr 15, 2016 at 22:47
  • Manager acts like a child. Literally! He doesn't bother or is unable to remember the proper words. He has a full right to act immature, since he's a manager. Thus he gives others a carte blanche to correct him, patronize him, or make fun of him all they want. @JaneS you can stay safe and don't interact, but don't pretend there is any workplace rule that says "immature behavior should be tolerated at all times".
    – kubanczyk
    Apr 16, 2016 at 17:03
  • 1
    @kubanczyk It's not really clear the manager is immature. Doesn't know any better, maybe? There are all sorts of slang terms. Maybe "depository" just hasn't caught on yet. I'll stick with "repo". It's short and easy to say and type.
    – Brandin
    Apr 16, 2016 at 19:10

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