Microspeak: touch base

Raymond Chen

The verb phrase touch base is in general business jargon use, but it’s quite popular at Microsoft.

To touch base with someone is to contact someone in a lightweight and mostly-informal sort of way. In other words, it takes the form of a piece of email or a brief office visit rather than a formal meeting with an agenda.

Bob, can you touch base with the Nosebleed team to verify that this design change won’t affect them?

Bob is expected to contact a representative from the Nosebleed team, either by sending email, or by telephone, or by stopping by their office for a quick chat. If Bob sets up a one-hour meeting with a dozen engineers from both sides, then he’s blowing the issue out of proportion.


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