Jargon Watch: 2021 Business Jargon Edition

Do you abhor it when decision makers strategically leverage the utilization of unnecessary verbiage in…


A lit up red alarm light.

Do you abhor it when decision makers strategically leverage the utilization of unnecessary verbiage in their disruptive business communications? So do we.

As an update to our recurring Jargon Watch series, let’s keep working together to liberate our content from the superfluous shackles of business jargon!

What Is Jargon, and Why Is It So Terrible?

Jargon is language that obfuscates makes it harder to get your point across. While it’s sometimes unavoidable, it’s rarely appreciated by those who have to read it. Too much of it can make your business communication annoying, garbled, and downright unintelligible.

Business jargon often crops up as a shorthand for expressing complex ideas. In a business setting, jargon can be a convenient tool for quickly communicating technical terms and concepts. The problem is when these industry terms get used for a wider audience outside your organization. Most readers will be confused (or vexed) by unclear phrases and buzzwords, so make sure to put their needs first by writing as plainly as you can.

Business Jargon List: Top Offenders for 2021

  1. Agile
    These days, it seems like everyone’s describing their teams as “agile.” While this term used to carry a very specific meaning for project workflows, it’s now generally used as a catch-all term for flexibility and adaptability. The thing is, who wouldn’t describe themselves this way? “We’re a sluggish and obstinate team” isn’t something you’re likely to hear from a prospective vendor. So choose a word that carries more weight and less baggage: nimble, deft, lean, etc.
  1. Ideate
    You mean… think of ideas? Just because you can make a noun into a verb, doesn’t mean you should. Watch out for idealized words like this one and keep yourself grounded by refusing to take part in acts of ideation. We think brainstorming works just fine (plus, it has an added bonus of conjuring a striking visual).
  1. Leverage
    Leverage can mean a lot of things: use, learn from, make the most of. So, which is it that you mean? Being clear will go a long way toward preventing your readers from leveraging their ability to roll their eyes.
  1. Synergy
    This take on teamwork makes collaboration sound like a science experiment. Equally annoying in its verb form, synergize. And don’t even get me started on synergistic, another business jargon serial offender.
  1. Utilize
    See leverage. Why use a big word when a small word can do the trick? Use the word “use” when its use is usable!
Kevin Malone from The Office
Kevin Malone from The Office explaining his strategy for simple communication.

Want to create your very own business jargon phrase? Check out this jargon generator to generate compelling platforms for synergizing rich ROI and optimizing dynamic interfaces in a single click.

Closing Thoughts: Jargon Is Inedible

Pablo Neruda said that “poetry is like bread.” Imagine your favorite type of bread: baked to perfection, still warm from the oven. Now think of the words you write the same way.

The next time you find yourself reaching for one of these stale business jargon crackers, remember your readers’ appetite for language and bake them some fresh word bread.

Talk to Tendo

Looking for a content creation partner? Work with Tendo and our team of experienced content marketers and strategists.

We can help you craft content that gets your messages across in a clear and compelling manner—without all the unhelpful business jargon that’s so common in B2B marketing materials. Get in touch with our team today.


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