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Use of jargon

Corporate lingo is tough.

Imagine you walk in a meeting and find the speaker saying “Get these low hanging fruits first and then work synergistically to leverage our current resources.”

That’s confusing. Frustrating.
And I didn’t just make that line up. It has happened to me.
For 1.5 years, I was writing for a company that encouraged, no, demanded that kind of language.
“You haven’t researched the topic well,” once a manager told me for using simpler words.
I used the exact same copy and threw in a few buzzwords that my boss preferred and voila. He loved it.
Life was easy after that. I had the formula.
Make sentences long and complex. Bosses will love it.
Obviously, that was a mistake. I realized it working for my next company, an advertising startup. You can’t hide with that kind of language in advertising.

Nobody’s Fault

Where did the words like ‘synergy, wheelhouse, leverage, millennial, and heavy lifting’ even come from? Why do they have to be a part of our business communication? Was it the management education textbooks or part of the plan to impress people?
Nobody knows but since they are a part of the system everyone uses them.

The employees often try to imitate their bosses and an entire generation tries to fit in a culture based on phrases and words they hear.

Now the problem is not fancy words, the problem is undervaluing people using real words.

In most offices, ‘I can do it better’ doesn’t sound as intelligent as ‘I’ll use best practices to ensure that it’s a paradigm shift for the business.’

It’s sad.

3 Hacks to Getting Un-Lost

By definition, ‘buzzword’ is become popular for short duration. However, every few months we have a new entrée to confuse the hell out of us.
You have two options to deal with it. One, go with the flow and try to fit in. Two, keep it simple and classic.
Here are my three hacks to dealing with the words and phrases that drive you mad.

1.      Ask a question

Speaking and talking are two different things.
Often when there is jargon, it’s difficult to understand if the speaker/writer has something to offer. I evaluate that with a simple trick.
Ask them a question.
If this question throws them off, they don’t have anything. Shut down your brain. Spend rest of the meeting thinking of your calendar, deliverables, or things that you love.

2.      Skip Meetings

People tend to throw buzzwords often when there are people to impress. Boss, colleagues, that hot girl in the room, there’s always someone to trigger those fancy words.
If you can skip meetings and even minutes of the meeting. An hour later walk to the desk of someone who has attended that meeting or call them up. Ask them what happened and you’ll get a more precise breakdown.

3.      Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease

Reading a memo from your boss, an article or performance feedback? These things can often get confusing.
Copy all the text and test it for Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test here.
The result will tell you if the text is actually that difficult to comprehend. Plus, you can replace the complex phrases and make it understandable.
Test scores for your emails before sending too.
I’d love to include words that you hate. Give me 10 of them to be included here.

Ishan Mathur

Ishan is a published author, blogger, content and growth marketer. He's the guy behind SnapWryt and Copy Chronicles communities.

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