Jargon is Just So Jank


One of the writers over at Ragan.com went off today on people who use the word dialogue as a verb. “Let’s dialogue about this or that.” She wonders why such jargon persists in our workplace conversations.

I commented there — and reiterate here — that the reason people use the word or phrase of the day/week/month is because we just want to fit in. In this way, the workplace is not so different from middle school. Really, “Oh, snap!” and “That’s so jank!” are just the next generation’s equivalent of workplace jargon.

My younger son is wrapping up his middle school years (thank God!) and one of the things I hope he’s learning is the importance of sometimes refusing to follow the crowd. We all have a desire to fit in, but, ironically, being yourself — your unique, individual self — helps you do just that. People are attracted to someone who is confident enough to do his own thing or to say things her own way.

So the question for workplace jargon-spewers becomes: What’s keeping you from being your own person?

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