Fast Company

Jargon Is Slang for Lingo

Last August, I posted several entries about snarky responses to buzzword-laden corporate communications.

Here's another. TheManageMentor's Jargon Universe tool is a translator for jargon, slang, and lingo from the worlds of HR, manufacturing, marketing, finance, law, and technology.

An example from HR: "Abilene Paradox, a story about a family who collectively decide to drive to Abilene, Texas, despite the fact that, none of them really want to make the trip. Used to illustrate the dangers of organisational 'group think' where the inclination to conform to the action of others takes priority over independent, rational decision-making processes."

Maybe we should ship everyone who slings lingo to Abilene. I also like the Nub's reaction: Calmly and self-confidently look them in the eye -- and tell them you don't understand them.

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1 Comments

  • Roy Jacobsen

    Last week I attended a meeting in which a couple of presentations were what I called "buzzword stew." I started copying down some of the more egregious examples (after half an hour, so I didn't get them all). Here's the list:

    "...a learning environment..."
    "actionable"
    ''swizzle'' (Nobody I talked to had a clear idea what that meant.)
    "points of input"
    "geographies"
    "high-level view"
    "...drive high volumes of customers..." (Won't we need a bus for that?)
    "actively pursuing"
    "enhance the value"
    "...to net it out,..."
    "next-gen"
    "huge opportunity"
    "bigger footprint"
    "amplifying marketing impact"
    "optimizing our marketing spend"
    "provide an exiting story"
    "so we can orchestrate success"