What People Think of Those Who Use Business Jargon

You call one of your colleagues. You just want to touch base, you want to take it offline. You’re trying to get buy in because you really need to drill down and move the needle. Do you know what people are thinking when you come out with phrases like these? You bet they’re impressed. That’s just blue sky thinking.

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  1. Kimberly McCabe

    I love this! I was bursting out with laughter while reading it. I can relate. I work in technology and there IS a lot of industry jargon which is tolerable. It is however annoying when people insist on using this kind of business jargon especially when they work with international colleagues. It is even more annoying when the same people insist they are good communicators. Thank you Powwownow for the laughs!

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  2. Jacqui Keep

    Jacqui Keep

    Glad you enjoyed Kimberly! It’s always the ‘Good Communicators’ that use it the most in our opinion!!

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  3. Allison

    I had to send this info-graph around my office!

    If I have to copyedit a text one more time that uses leverage as a verb (without “to” in front of it for the proper transitive form), I might break down and cry.

    I cannot express how horrible it is that silly business jargon has jumped from verbal to written communication. It is a virus!

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  4. Gael

    I don’t see a source for the stats. Where did they come from?

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  5. Jacqui Keep

    Jacqui Keep

    Hi Gael, we ran a survey earlier this year sampling 1,277 people across the UK, on survey provider Toluna.

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  6. Robin

    This link is a keeper! Thank you!

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  7. Rob

    However much people may decry it, business coinings are as much a valid source for new entries into the language as any other source. If ‘leverage’ is used as a verb, then written communication will eventually reflect that usage, and fighting against the tide is pointless _so long as the content of the communication is clear_. If you’re insisting on following rules when the clarity of intent of what is being expressed is not affected, are you not simply wasting your time?

    In any case, the example of ‘leverage’ is a case of language evolution rather than business mangling of contentless phraseology, or so it seems to me.

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  8. Henny

    I’m so happy I’m not the only one on this planet who feels like this. Very encouraging.

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  9. Anon

    I have a list of words that annoy me. And I’m sure I use words that annoy others.

    I really hate to hear the word ‘impact’ used instead of ‘effect’ or ‘affect’. Although they are technically interchangeable, it seems people choose to use ‘impact’ because (a) it sounds more ‘dynamic’ (b) they are too scared to look foolish by getting effect/affect mixed up.

    This sounds like in-yer-face marketing gobbledygook BS:
    “Exercise and cognitive stimulation can impact the number of new cells created in your brain”.

    Whereas as this, to me, sounds like down-to-earth science:
    “Exercise and cognitive stimulation can affect the number of new cells created in your brain”.

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