Lost in jargon, caught in a trap

You can’t have missed the media coverage of Davos this week, when the world’s most eminent politicians, business leaders and academics made their annual pilgrimage to the snowy Alpine outpost for the World Economic Forum. 

Away from the stories about big tech, encryption, MAGA and Brexit, one tongue in cheek write up that caught my eye was this piece on the BBC, bemoaning the use of jargon amongst the elite attendance.  

Anyone else out there ‘visioneering the future’? No, I thought not.

I must admit that some of the words that make it onto the BBC’s list of shame are common day parlance for anyone who promotes technology. This week alone, I’ve had a deep dive and spoken to some influencers. I’ve also provided some takeaways that had absolutely nothing to do with food. I definitely haven’t visioneered though.

When I started out in the tech PR game I remember being completely perplexed by the use of ‘leverage’ as a verb. What’s wrong with the word ‘use’ I said in my naivety?  Mind you, these were the days of the dotcom bubble, when every Tom, Dick and Harry were shifting some paradigm or other (this is now called ‘disruption’).

I love the way the English language evolves and grows, but sometimes the people using the flashy, new words need to be careful that they’re not overcomplicating things.

A joke isn’t a joke if someone has to explain why it’s funny – maybe it’s the same with buzzwords.