Columnists,Izmi Carrim,Main Slider l by Izmi Carrim l 17 Aug 2020     - 122

Why The Jargon

Coming out a company meeting feeling bored and frustrated is definitely the opposite of what most corporate had in mind to expect, that is unfortunate reality in the case of jargon/office speak, which ironically sacrifices confusion for clarity in the name of “efficiency”. Your fellow colleagues are going to only be irritated with you when you as a manager state that they need to “circle back” to you only after improving their “synergy” with their clientele by giving a “110%”.

So, what is Jargon really?

Jargon is a specialized language that is common only to a specific trade or industry like the military or healthcare making communicating in such environments almost tribalistic in nature than it should it be. You are most likely to be using jargon if people outside of work struggle in understanding certain phrases and words that you often use in your organization.

The History of Jargon

The origins of jargon itself dates back before the Great depression when employees in establishments, who whether in boardrooms or textbooks were often seen and referred to as tools and machines rather than as fellow human beings that help and keep a company’s vision alive and thriving.

Fortunately, things did take a turn for the better when in the 1930s corporate culture showed an interest in human relations and productivity making it a topic of research, the interest was only piqued even further after the 2nd World War as there was a huge disconnect between management and its workers as many large organizations transformed themselves into multi-faced conglomerates due to the many mergers and acquisitions that took place during the 1950s and 1960s.

Mangers who were unable to relate or interact on a much personal level with their subordinates than before were deemed ineffective as it only increased tensions in the organization, so to bridge the gap of disconnect jargon emerged as a verbal magic trick of making things sound much grander, more profound and “fancy” than they were, solving the problem of creating an emotional atmosphere that keeps an organization profitable and at the same time its workers connected.

It’s still popular, despite being bad for business

Considering its roots, it’s unsurprising that a study done at New York University revealed that vague wording often makes the listener feel that the speaker is lying than when using simple plain language and perhaps is the reason for Jargon being so disdained, in part due to the misalignment created between what is communicated and what is actually perceived.

Though the use of jargon enables most speakers and leaders to evade facts and is the most likely reason as to why its use still remains so popular it can also be a cause of less trust being generated amongst peers because responding to issues in an abstract language due to the fear of sounding less intelligent and not considering whether what was conveyed is right, wrong or even if necessary is wasteful and downright manipulative.

How to keep things, clear in our offices?

Focus on plain language so that everyone is on the same page. There is absolutely no need whatsoever in using vapid verbal shortcuts in creating a false sense of urgency to issues and goals by giving them more magnitude than it deserves. It also helps to helps ask your colleagues if they are familiar with the popular terminology used. In short the answer lies in the question itself, just keep things clear and simple.


Izmi Carrim

From Credit Analyst to Customer Care Coordinator, and now a Content writer. Izmi’s main focus is now on bringing to light topics he believes that help the human race, himself included, in guiding them a step further towards being a better version of themselves than the day before.

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