Jargon like “blue-sky thinking”, “it’s not rocket science” and “critical path” (think literally with this last one and it will make you smile) are commonplace in business everywhere now.
New phrases are springing up every day; some more annoying than others (“net-net” a particular case in point for me). As a quick tally, there are easily five words I can think of immediately which simply mean making contact with someone – namely; reach out, touch, plug in, touch base and reconnect.
This fashion for using jargon shows that we are what exactly? The undoubted aim is to appear punchy, on the ball, driven and “with it” in our use of language. Yet it goes much further and deeper when you start to investigate technical and sector jargon. If you’re in Retail, you’re surrounded by SKUs and POS; in Financial Services FATCA, MIFID and SOX are the “name of the game”.
In my view, these acronyms all enhance the elitism of each sector. Although you could argue that they are intended to shorten words for speed, often this isn’t the case. Alternatively, nobody knows what they mean anyway.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on business jargon. Is it good, bad or are you indifferent? I hate it but find myself joining in the trend for irritating words despite myself on occasion!
And finally, do we think that text speak is entering business language? LOL and OMG have been spotted in emails received by Interim Partners.
Oh, and don’t get me started on smiley faces
I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, I’m off to push the envelope.
Liz Sinclair is the Financial Services Account Director for Interim Partners.
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