How Easily We Fall Into Using Jargon

I was in a workshop recently when I noticed my constant use of the phrase “vis-a-vis.”  

Thinking back now, I can’t remember how I used it. But all of a sudden, the phrase just kept coming out of my mouth. It really started to bother me and I asked class members to touch their noses every time I said the phrase. I stopped  instantly.

I tell you this as an example of how easily it is to fall into using jargon.  The problem with jargon is that it’s not always clear.  The meaning is often muddled. And if you’re muddled, you’re not connecting with your audience like you should.

Yesterday I ran across a fun list of “10 Words to Ban” from the business lexicon. The list was compiled by blogger David Silverman.

On the list, my favorite is “people manager.” Writes Silverman, “as opposed to ‘Goldfish supervisor?'”

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