Jargon and Buzzwords Can Hinder Communication…
The media’s excessive loathing of jargon and buzzwords is somewhat unjustified.
Yes, business communication is inundated with clichéd catchphrases with murky meanings that add no real linguistic efficiency. People tend to use such language merely to sound intelligent and important.
Why not? It’s all part of “locker-room chat.” It’s only human nature to pattern our language (and behavior) to prove that we are “in the loop.” If others are looking smart or fashionable from using specific slang and buzzwords, we will feel enticed enough to belong to that clique.
… But Jargon and Buzzwords May Be Very Helpful
Jargon and buzzwords may be annoyances, but crisp communication often needs the use of the appropriate vernacular. Every industry, profession, company, and team has a lingua franca that’s full of well-recognized acronyms, phrases, and lingo for concepts and ideas. Ordinary words do not lend such efficiency.
When used properly, purposeful jargon can actually be an efficient way to talk about complex topics in a concise way—for example, phrases such as “mission-critical” and “key differentiators” may convey much significance when discussing the “strategic resource allocation.”
Idea for Impact: Don’t Use Jargon and Buzzwords Just Because They’re Trendy
Master the vernacular of the industry, company, and team you’re working with. Limit jargon and avoid the overuse of buzzwords. Use them only when it is sensible and pragmatic—to facilitate concise and clear communication, not just to look “cool” or to “belong.”
Remember, effective communication isn’t about demonstrating your fancy vocabulary or rosy language. It’s about communicating your message in the best way possible to the audience that you’re targeting.