Jargon-Nots

January 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm 1 comment

David Donze

Do you ever wonder where “outside the box” is? Do you recoil from requests to dump your brain? Are you out of bandwidth because you’re overloaded with administrivia?

Plenty of books and Web sites are dedicated to cataloging (and ridiculing) the business jargon we hear and use daily. But jargon has its place. Nearly every industry has developed its own specialized shorthand that hastens day-to-day communication between its participants.

The trouble starts when business people use shorthand to show how smart and savvy they are. Consultants and managers lace directives with obscure language to create an air of expertise. Speakers and writers use buzzwords to gloss over content and presentation shortcomings. For some odd reason, many professionals still think slinging business jargon makes them seem smarter.

Once and for all: It doesn’t.

The Wall Street Journal agrees with us. (Be sure to check out the comments). The Financial Times agrees with us – at least FT columnist Lucy Kellaway does. And if that’s not enough, the National Council of Teachers of English does too. (JSTOR login required).

Convinced? Join the crusade. Because helping others to “shift their paradigm” is a totally “actionable step” you can take to help advance their “core competencies.”

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Entry filed under: Diabloguer.

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1 Comment Add your own

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