Jargon is an interesting thing. I remember one time, me and this guy Dave that I worked with in the computer repair shop in college were giving blood. We’re sitting on opposite gurneys, talking about work. I think half our conversation was in acronyms and numbers. Must have sounded so bizarre to anyone else.
Some jargon is designed to let those on the “inside” know who has been accepted and to keep the unwanted out. Slang from the street certainly fits this category. But what I hate is business jargon that seems to exist just to make you sound more “professional” without communicating anything that “normal” words couldn’t.
Here are some that make red hot flames engulf my vision.
Reaching Out: Oh, how I hate thee. Can’t you just say, “I called them” or whatever? “I reached out to the client and let them know we needed more info.” So. Lame.
Engagement: Let me share an actual quote from work. “We strive to deliver value-added products, resources, services and discounts for our Team Members to enhance their morale and engagement.” Don’t you just mean “so they’ll like their job”?
Needs: When used as a noun. It’s just lazy.
Download: This doesn’t bother me too much, but it’s really just a way of saying “tell”. “I’ll download Bobby about our meeting” vs. “I’ll tell Bobby about our meeting”. Save a syllable here, people.
Critical: Soooo overused. Not even half of the stuff that is deemed “critical” is really critical. “Our ability to deliver on the deep-fried Oreo timeframe is critical.” Consider me not worried. Also: “timeframe”.
Actionable: Basically means “something I can do”. I almost went with “Action Item”, but this is more pretentious. “This plan needs to be actionable.” Well, DUH! Shouldn’t ALL plans be like that? The only reason this word even exists is because people were having meetings that didn’t lead to change. And where do you hear this word used most? MEETINGS!
Recontextualize: Seriously, if you use this word, now you’re just feeling inadequate because you don’t actually know the English language. As ESPN once told my friend Pudge, “Read a book!”
What business jargon do you loathe?