The other day I wrote about the secret vernacular that some professions have and I how like learning about them. Today I was reminded of the dark side of that coin: buzzwords. In a great post from 37 Signals, I was reminded of one of my biggest pet peeves in my professional life. Buzzwords. I hate them.
One of my recent favorites was a business manager telling me I needed to “gain visibility.” What they actually meant was that I needed the different departments of the business to share their goals with me so I could better plan creative changes. I eventually followed the metaphor (I’m high up and can see everything better by looking down), but sorry, gaining visibility makes me sound like the Invisible Man and I just found a miraculous cure.
The thing that bugs me the most about buzzwords is that nothing is safe; I can honestly see some marketing/sales person selling me a service by saying I won’t touch the floor with it. The purveyors of these terms will pull anything and everything to make themselves sound better and smarter.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. It is really that simple.
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