LORRAINE HOWELL

Media Skills Training

Jargon and Other Meaningless Words

It’s a shame when good words get over-used, abused, or misappropriated. Over time good words can become useless because they lose meaning. So I would like to thank Kimberly Weisul for her recent article on Inc.dom citing some of the “Worst Business Buzzwords of 2015.”

In addition to buzzwords, I would add filler words and phrases that just take up space and don’t add clarity. Some of my favorites include “absolutely” “solutions” and “actually.” “Passion” is another great word that is losing it punch due to over-use. And a recent addition to my list is the very annoying filler phrase “if you will.” When I hear someone say that I always wonder if I will what? Some oldies but goodies are “like” and “you know.”

The words you choose matter, choose them with your audience in mind. Stay away from jargon and shortcuts that seem clever to you but provide no useful insight or meaning to your listeners.


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