10 April 2017

Jargon Alert: Time For Some “Market-Moving Dialogue”

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Knows Jargon Enough To Avoid It; image by Mabdul via Wikimedia Commons

Quick, can you guess what this company is selling?

“We provide a platform for market-moving dialogue by connecting decision makers through actionable exchange, revolutionizing the way 21st century companies create value.”

Although reading that is like chewing sand — but not as fun — too many execs think such jargon makes them sound “professional.” Instead, it makes them sound like con artists.

I take that back: a true con artist would use natural language that wouldn’t make their audience suspicious. Jargon makes the user sound like they’re hiding something — like a complete lack of talent.

By the way, if you guessed that pile of bull was referring to a business conference, you speak good jargon.

(Thanks to Kevin Elliott of Hill+Knowlton Strategies for sharing this quote, which he received in an email from a vendor.)

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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