Gahd I hate jargon.
Not for the usual complaints; because I feel silly saying it, or because my ego feels I don’t need it.
No, I hate jargon because most of the time it makes us less efficient, not more so.
I see lots of articles like this one shared on Twitter claiming to inform us of jargon and phrases/abbreviations we should know. And granted some of them are useful if they are used by industries we aren’t as familiar with.
Abbreviations I get. They’re a time-saving measure.
But if you’re going to start inventing phrases and terminology that actually takes longer to say than the words do in Plain English…
Well then we can’t be friends.
It’s been a long time since I’ve come across such a barrage of jargon as I did during this week’s #CommsChat (a great Twitter chat every Monday at 8pm GMT which you should try to catch!) It could be that upon returning from my happy holidays in Italy I was just a tad grumpy, but I think if I lay it out for you, you’ll sympathise with me.
I can forgive Adam and Annabelle because it’s hard to contribute meaningfully to Twitter chats in 140 characters once you’ve @mentioned everyone and included the hashtag. (These abbreviations stand for ‘Word of Mouth’ and ‘Out Of Home’ respectively, by the way):
I can’t, however, forgive you when you have 50 characters left and still choose to abbreviate. ‘Cost Per Action’ isn’t going to take years off your life to type:
So when we leave the capital letters behind it all starts to make sense, yes? Err, no. Send Google help:
In fairness, most of these folk are really knowledgeable in the industry and are not-serial offenders. Although some people are perhaps more fans of the jargon than others:
Say what now?
And then the young ‘peeps’ wade in to out-do everyone:
So much so that even the jargon-loving folk think they’ve entered a game of Buzzword Bingo and ask for a definition:
Enough people. No-one will take us seriously if we keep at this. Not only that, no-one in their right mind will pay for it if even our own kind struggle to understand what it means. There is worth in what we do without the fancy-pants talk. We all know how to do it, we’re on Twitter to learn from each other, network and laugh together.
We’re not there to keep Wikipedia in business.