I am officially inviting you to join me on my one-man mission on the war against jargon- well two man mission if you include John Humphry- BBC journalist, who was quoted as saying that jargon is, ' often used by people who are too stupid or too lazy to use language everyone can understand!'
The Oxford Dictionary describes jargon as, 'Special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand'- I would argue that 'others' is very often more than half of those engaging in any dialogue. Which further renders the question- What's it purpose if it fails it's function of being understood?!
We are now living in a world of acronyms, emoticons and jargon, breeding a Ricky Gervais culture, which inevitably renders the question- Do we really understand what anyone is on about anymore!?
How many times have you been in a text convo or more formal business meeting and been dumb-founded as to what the other person is going on about? Were you guilty of responding with the reliable and generic response of "Lol" as a substitute? And if you think I'm referring to communication just via the written word you are very much mistaken, people are now using the response verbally, to what I can only imagine is an anecdote or joke that was clearly not worthy of a genuine laugh out loud!
So why is this so important to me? Genuinely because all laughs out loud aside, the overuse of jargon can infact be debilitating and alienating, often used as an elitist weapon (much like the playground language of 'ivagoo'!), which allows no clues for its accessibility or root meaning, with the expiration of the question, "What do you mean by that?" averaging as a brief 30 second window, before the opportunity for clarification is lost and gone forever. Resulting in the shameful task of conducting secretive Google searches on your mobile device under the boardroom table, whilst maintaining constant eye contact and making a valid contribution to the agenda item in question.
I fear the biggest problem is that we have become so entrenched in this world of jargon, its use has become some kind of elitist weapon which tends to do more bad than good. Am I guilty of being a jargonite? I hear you ask yourself. If you have ever used the expressions, 'we need more synergy', or 'let's speak off-line', or 'how about some face time' or if you have ever said, 'how does that pan out in real-time?', I'm afraid according to Mark Zuckerberg philanthropist, you are infact guilty as charged!
Whilst acronyms can be equally obstructive, I can only speak for myself when I say I am responsible enough to ensure that the use of acronyms is done in settings where comprehension is not problematic; ihyembdftsof!
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