How to avoid using workplace jargon

We’re all guilty of using some worn-out phrases from time to time — but there are ways to avoid them.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Call out jargon so you can avoid it yourself.

Move the needle. Running things up the flagpole. And perhaps most annoying of all, circle back. There are all kinds of jargon out there that people communicate with. Whether it’s an attempt to create a new acronym or verbal shorthand in a business situation or to highlight the importance of what you’re saying with industry-specific terms, jargon floods into how we communicate at work more often than we realize. But as communicators, it’s our duty to be clear and concise in our messages.

Let’s look at some of the reasons we use jargon in work settings, the results that can come from it, and ways to avoid it.

Why do we use jargon terms?

Most of us employ jargon from time to time, but the big question is — why?

You might use it to avoid directly referring to difficult situations at work. Think about when a company decides they need to cut jobs. Rather than using seemingly more accurate terms like “job cuts” or “layoffs”, they’re more likely to use a term like “downsizing” or “reduction in force.” It’s common for people to not want to confront difficult situations head-on, particularly when it involves hundreds or thousands of people losing their livelihoods, and the use of a softer term may help deflect some of the blow.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.