Say what you mean and mean what you say

A few weeks ago, Christopher Steiner at Forbes.com wrote an amusing and somewhat thought-provoking piece about the business world’s unfortunate and seemingly unending reliance on jargon in communications.

Steiner quotes Karen Friedman, author of  Shut Up and Say Something: Business Communication Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Influence Listeners when attempting to explain why jargon is so persistent and prevalent: “People use jargon because they want to sound smart and credible when in fact they sound profoundly dim-witted and typically can’t be understood, which defeats the purpose of speaking in the first place.”

Ouch.

Well, I suppose we could all take a breather and think a bit about what we’re really trying to say before we lapse into jargon-speak, even though it does seem to be the lingua franca of business.

Brevity being the soul of wit (at least as far as Shakespeare’s concerned), I’ve pulled my favorites from the Forbes list (there are 26 in total, all of which can be found here) and added a couple of my own to create the following list. I’d love to know which phrase you find most annoying:

Posted by Dave Wilson on Jan 31, 2011
in Make the Jump, See All and tagged .

One comment

  1. Nice list. Although the most annoying for me is the new corporate catch phrase “bandwidth.”

    Ooh, Makes me shrug everytime I hear it in a meeting.

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