Look, jargon happens. Every industry or hobby comes with its own unique lexicon. Sometimes the terms make communicating a point quicker or easier (you work in M&A? That’s cool.). Sometimes they’re more like secret code (journalists and their “ledes”). But too often all they do is annoy whoever is listening.
Recently a public relations person, or flack, as we often call them — at least it has the semantic bonus of being slightly pejorative — asked me if I had any “bandwidth” on my deadline. I actually had to call a PR friend to ask her what the hell that means. Turns out most flacks are already over the term, which means capacity, and which this woman wasn’t even using properly. She evidently wanted to know if I had any flexibility, if I could push my deadline back. Really, it’s a simple question. Let’s keep it that way.
Here’s another surefire way to sound like a jackass: say “monies.” Hunters don’t shoot deers, you wouldn’t order fried rices. Just give me my money.
Oh, and no, I will not PING you later.
Shall we get a list going? What are some of your most hated bits of jargon?