If you can’t explain something to a 12-year-old, then you probably don’t understand it well enough.
So why is there so much jargon in the world? Jargon loves to hear itself speak, which often means other people stop listening. It says in ten words what can be said in two, pretends to be smarter than it really is, and is impenetrable to most adults, let alone 12-year-olds.
Jargon is the enemy of a clear message. For that reason alone, it should be wiped from our vocabularies.
But jargon in business communications has also reached the levels of high comedy. And you definitely don’t want your message to be a joke.
As a case in point, Pilot unearthed unsuck-it.com, which pokes fun at the inane language that has infiltrated the workplace. The site asks “What terrible business jargon do you need unsucked?” and then unsucks it for you, free of charge.
“Convo”? Unsuck it.
“Action item”? Unsuck it.
“Blue-sky thinking”? Unsuck it.
“Counterfactual of an inflationary increase and reprioritisation of the aforementioned fiscal plan”? Okay, even Unsuck It has its limits.
The site brought light and joy to an otherwise cold and snowy afternoon here at Pilot, but it also demonstrated just how commonplace jargon has become.
We offer an antidote to this kind of business babble. We help our clients connect with their audiences, and that begins with real words that convey real meaning.
So the next time you’re tempted to use a piece of jargon, try Unsucking It and figure out what you’re really trying to say.
That seems like a pretty great idea to us, but maybe we’re just blue-sky thinking.