A Christmas Special: Jargon Buster

A Christmas Special: Jargon Buster

The corporate world is a strange and fantastic beast. Built upon by too many idiosyncrasies to count, the industry is perhaps best recognised by its reliance on jargon. Described by founder of the Plain English Campaign (and kindred spirit) Chrissie Mahler, as ‘down-right dangerous’ ,‘the over-use of jargon can become a barrier to gaining new business and considered pointless by colleagues'. 

When researching this article, I spent an evening ‘generating some gobbledygook’ via the Plain English Campaign (a tool that enables you to create nonsense at will), and some of their suggestions were unexpectedly familiar. The phrase: ‘We need to get on-message about our compatible strategic alignment’ gave me de ja vu, not to mention how: ‘our upgraded model now offers deconstructed reciprocal flexibility’ sounded like the subject line of a recent meeting invitation.

Increasingly, our offices seem to be galloping towards a language of drivel-ly double-speak to demonstrate cutting edge technical know-how and prowess. But is jargon the future of industry or is it just a fad destined for obscurity? Could a resurgence in plain speaking be the answer we never knew we needed? Let us know your thoughts over on social media.

So, as LexisNexis’ resident business speak nay-sayer, I’ve pulled together the most scream-worthy list of office nonsense and examined the true meanings behind the etymological gift that just keeps on giving.

1. ‘I’ll socialise that’: A phrase that’s gaining unexpected popularity, ideas large and small are currently undergoing nationwide meet and greets. I’m yet to see any of the newly socialised concepts buy anyone a round… 

2. ‘It’s on my radar’: or, as I like to call it ‘Yes, I did forget. Thank you for noticing’. This phrase always conjures the same image: Baroness Trumpington giving Lord King the V sign for being called ‘old’ on a live stream. Much like the righteous Baroness T’s ‘V’, ‘it’

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About the author:
Catherine is one of the Future of Law's digital editors. She graduated from Durham University with a degree in English Literature and worked at a barristers chambers before joining Lexis Nexis.