Microspeak: Offline (noun)

Raymond Chen

Raymond

Sure, any noun can be verbed, and any verb can be nouned. But today, we’re going to noun an adjective.
I have no written citations of this usage; the only report was via a colleague who overheard it in a hallway conversion.

I had some offlines with Fred about that.

In Microspeak, offline is an adjective which means “outside this meeting.” In order to keep a meeting on track, the meeting organizer may advise the people engaged in the discussion of a side topic or a topic of limited interest to take it offline, please, meaning discuss this amongst yourselves after the meeting, please. In other words, “Let’s not waste valuable meeting time on this topic.”

The above citation converts the adjective offline into a noun, an offline presumably being shorthand for an offline conversation (or other type of communication). The translation would therefore be something like “I had some private conversations with Fred about that.”

Raymond Chen
Raymond Chen

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