Buzzword Bingo Bonanza

Earlier this year, I attended a public meeting devoted to regional economic development.

These issues have a very real impact on all of us, so I was interested in hearing what this group of national thinkers and regional leaders had to say.

Within 10 minutes, a certain amount of repetition had occurred. I started making tick marks on my pad:
Leverage/leveraging  - IIII
Innovate/innovative - IIII
Knowledge economy - III
Global economy - III
Transform - II
Change - II
Adapt - II

I soon stopped making tick marks in order to add these things to the list:
Experiential opportunity
Global fluency
Induced jobs
Innovation ecosystem
Porous boundaries

What is an "induced job," you ask? I couldn't tell you. The barrage of over-used words and made-up phrases was so overwhelming any fresh ideas or meaningful insights were quickly lost in the clutter.

Near the end of the program, the business owner sitting next to me quietly asked what was so fascinating. (That question is quite revealing, isn’t it?) I flipped to a fresh page and wrote three words. Nodding in agreement and smothering a laugh, she returned her attention to the presenter, because no further explanation was required.
What did I write? Buzzword Bingo Bonanza.

My objective isn't to criticize or poke fun. At one time or another, we've all succumbed to the same temptation and unleashed a string of the latest, greatest buzzwords, hoping they will impress or perhaps make sense to someone somewhere.

This experience was a powerful reminder that every time we communicate, we make a choice: Clear or convoluted? Simple or complex? Focused or flashy? Persuade by the ounce or the pound? 

It takes time, thought and effort to communicate simply, directly and clearly. The difference in impact, of course, is priceless.


No Time for Translation
Do Writing Skills Still Matter?
Quote | Elegance of Simplicity


Anon said...

Once again, your insights are right on the money.

Anonymous said...

I would also say clarity can be truth, why it is seldom used.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...