There is a power to leveraging resources in order to maximise deliverables to key consumers in a way that engages, adds-value and inspires brand loyalty. That is an actual post from LinkedIn that I copied and pasted here. For real.
When you’ve been in an industry or one company for too long you stop speaking English and start speaking “Work-ese.” You know, that special language that you speak with workmates that no one outside your cubicle farm would ever understand. But it’s not limited to those who haev been douign the one thing for too long. Relatively young industries, sales “gurus” and busines-growth-related motivational speakers do the same thing. You can read entire transcripts from conferences and seminars that don’t make an ounce of sense to most native English speakers… let alone those who use English as a second or third language.
The strength and weakness of the English language is that it’s a “compound” language. It’s made of up words and rules from a dozen different other languages. There’s the Latin incluence, the Germanic, the Nordic, the Celtic and the Anglic. Add Australian slang to the mix and you’ve got a mean mix of phrasing that can see anything-but-English to those who are new the language. But when companies, speakers and LinkedIn wankers start spewing forth catch-phrases and slogans like a baby throwing-up mashed pumpkin in front of your friends at a fancy lunch, it not only leaves your audience shaking their heads, it also alienates them from you. And if your audience are in Darwin or other regional areas where honesty and approachability are valued over a slick pitch, then you’re in all sorts of trouble.
I hate the term “dumbing down.” It’s insulting. It assumes that you need to “come down” to someone’s level because you are superior to them in some way. You’re not. You just speak “work-ese.” And they don’t. That’s not dumb. That’s unraveling your ridiculous corporate sub-language and returning you to where your language use should be at; the language your target audience or customer speaks.
Radio broadcasters like to talk about their “OBs” and “benchmarks.” In fact broadcast media has so many work-ese terms that I’d need an entire article just to talk through them. Productivity folks talk about “KPIs” and “efficiency” like everyone knows what they’re talking about. In my media and technology gig I talk abotu “metrics” and other equally ridiculous words like analytics, enagement and share-ability.
It’s not our customers who are dumb for not understanding what the hell we’re talking about – it’s ours… for talking like we do! We are the dumb ones! So if your product, job description or work process can’t be described easily in plain English, then you need to look at it and rethink what you’re doing. If it’s too difficult to describe in plan English, then it’s probably too difficult to sell.