Thursday, December 10, 2009

If you want to build trust, don’t use jargon

Jargon does have its place. Among members of a craft, profession, specialty or any other in-group, jargon often provides an efficient shorthand.

But as we all know, jargon can also be abused. It can be: (1) overused, (2) directed at people outside the group, (3) used to feign profundity of thought, (4) used to feign novelty of thought, or (5) used to feign clarity of thought.

Mark Ragan (pictured), CEO at Lawrence Ragan Communications, wrote an entertaining story describing abuses (1) and (2) from the victim’s point of view.

Mr. Ragan is a seemingly-inexhaustible source of ideas about writing, public relations and marketing. Follow him on Twitter.

The Takeaway: To avoid abusing jargon, practice empathy. A writer who diligently practices empathy will rarely, if ever, abuse jargon.

No comments:

Post a Comment