Why buzzwords deserve the axe

Like it or not – and I’m not happy about this – jargon continues to haunt us. And recently, an irritating number of “buzzwords” have been in frequent use.

So I was pleased to see a PR company has been making a concerted effort to purge press releases and other pieces of writing of “business-speak” and the latest buzzwords.

Yes, employees at some firms may walk around enthusing over the joys of “re-purposing” (which really means adopting something for a different purpose) and the need for their services to be “valued-added”. But it’s a long way from writing in plain, simple English.

Clear, uncluttered phrases mean your communication is always more likely to be better understood and hence successful. Especially in a pressured business environment when time is precious.

Get to the point and move on. I’ve also noticed a disturbing trend, especially on the web, of employing words and phrases some consider to be trendy. For instance, describing someone as being “super excited” about something new or using “awesome” as an adjective.

Writers might may believe they are being “cool” (another such phrase) but these terms are likely to put readers off.

Including these phrases in your copy might make readers think the writer and their organisation need to grow up.

In terms of other personal bug bears, I find so-called “mission critical” activities (since when has everyone been trying to rival the NASA Space Programme?) irritating.

And I would love to see the phrase “reach out” be banned. As in: “Thanks so much for reaching out to me,” or similar jarring equivalents, which we hear all too often now.

What is wrong with approaching someone or talking to them instead?

  • Want help in writing clear jargon-free copy that gets results? Contact me.

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