Merrehill | Jargon, Schmargon

Jargon, Schmargon

Jargon, Schmargon

I saw a great quote the other day.

From George Orwell, of all folk.

I’m sure you’ve heard of him.

He said:

“Never use a long word where a short one will do.”

This resonated with me.

As a long-time despiser of corporate jargon firstly.

And secondly, when I see campaigns using words only industry experts will understand.

I think the majority of people would prefer to understand what they’re reading.

To be able to make that instant connection of how it’s appropriate to them.

And above all, to save time.

I was in a meeting back in 2011.

We were pitching to a well-known high street bank re. a business credit card campaign.

After my colleague Andrew had delivered the pitch, the marketing director asked him:

“How does this look commercially?”

Andrew looked at me.

I looked at Andrew.

We’re from similar backgrounds and didn’t speak (and still don’t) corporate lingo.

I looked at (let’s call him) Peter.

Because that was his name.

“Do you mean how much is it going to cost you, Peter?”

Peter laughed. “Well, yes.”

I still to this day don’t understand why the question was pitched that way.

Anyway, we got the deal, if you’re interested.

When speaking to a cold audience, assume you’re speaking only to the least educated person in the room.

The one who is least likely to understand the jargon that fits your industry.

Nobody will think less of you for keeping it simple; in fact, they’ll thank you for it.

Yours, without equivocation (?)

Written by Lee Shore on 14th Apr, 2021.

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