Dr. Kaushik Sridhar

The Value and Annoyance of Jargon

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Jargon is a specialised vocabulary used by a particular group of people. It can be a valuable tool for communication, as it can help to create a common understanding and shared identity among members of a group. However, jargon can also be annoying and alienating, especially when it is used by people who are not familiar with it.

Some examples of common business jargon include:

  • Low-hanging fruit: Easy tasks that can be completed with minimal effort.
  • Paradigm shift: A major change in the way something is done.
  • Blue sky thinking: Creative thinking that is not limited by constraints.
  • Touching base: Communicating with someone to stay in touch.
  • Deep-dive: An in-depth analysis of something.

These terms can be useful for communicating with people who are familiar with the jargon, as they can help to convey complex ideas in a concise way. However, they can also be confusing and alienating to people who are not familiar with the jargon. For example, if someone who is not familiar with business jargon hears the term “low-hanging fruit,” they may not understand what it means.

In addition, the overuse of jargon can make communication more difficult. When people use jargon all the time, it can be difficult to tell when they are actually saying something meaningful. For example, if someone says “we need to do a deep-dive on this,” it is not clear what they mean by “deep-dive.” Are they asking for a detailed analysis? Are they asking for a brainstorming session? Without more context, it is difficult to know.

Overall, jargon can be a valuable tool for communication, but it is important to use it sparingly. When used too often, jargon can make communication more difficult and alienating.

How to Use Jargon Effectively

If you need to use jargon, there are a few things you can do to make it more effective:

  • Define the jargon. If you are using jargon that your audience may not be familiar with, take the time to define it. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Use jargon sparingly. Don’t overload your audience with jargon. Use it only when it is necessary to communicate a specific idea.
  • Use jargon in context. When you use jargon, make sure that it is used in the correct context. This will help to avoid confusion.

How to Deal with Annoying Jargon

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is using jargon that you find annoying, there are a few things you can do:

  • Ask for clarification. If you don’t understand what someone means by a particular piece of jargon, ask them to clarify. This will help you to understand what they are trying to say.
  • Suggest alternatives. If you find that someone is using a lot of jargon, suggest alternatives that are more clear and concise. This will help to make communication easier for everyone.
  • Change the subject. If you are not interested in discussing a particular topic, change the subject. This will help to avoid having to listen to any more jargon.

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