I had a thought shower this morning that brought me to a pivot in my life where I felt the need to shift the paradigm away from using these confusing and obnoxious “buzzwords” that seem to have ingratiated themselves into modern business language.
Ugh. So let’s do that.
Re-Verb the Verb
Perhaps one of the biggest cringes of them all is the excessive nouning of verbs and verbing of nouns. I’m aware that I just did the cringe, but hear me out. You don’t “action” something; you act. You don’t “heart” something; you love it.
See, because we’re writers, we believe that verbs are verbs and nouns are nouns. Also because we’re writers, we know switching things up is an actual literary device called anthimeria, and it can be used to great effect—in small doses. Eat fresh. Live unböring. Let’s merry. Exceptions can be made, but they should always be exceptions, not the rule.
Shift the Paradigm
Honestly, this might be my least favorite marketing buzzword of all time. To me, the phrase sounds like a bad B quality horror movie or a song by a really bad emo band. Either way, how hard is it to just say that “The times, they are a’changin’ and thus we must change with it”?
Drinking the Kool-Aid
TBH (and I can say that because I’m a legit Millennial, if only barely), and it’s obviously not just me, but referencing a mass murder event in modern business seems a bit tasteless. Even the meaning behind it is outdated, given the popularity as of late for individuality and free speech. There’s nothing wrong with wanting our readers to accept and believe what we have to say, but there are more tactful ways of saying so.
Fellow Kids Jargon
Using slang popular with pre-teens and young adults in the business or marketing world is fine, if you’re talking to the kids…and you’re using the latest slang…and it comes across as authentic. If you’re fifty and using tween slang to woo your clients, then it’s like hearing our parents talk about being “hip” and “with it.”
When I scroll through Facebook or Twitter and see a legitimate, well-established company use phrases like “lit” and “stay woke” when advertising or posting, I either unfollow them or offer my stellar marketing skills. It’s obvious they have no idea what their target audience wants and it only succeeds in making them look like they’re trying too hard.
Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
Here’s a novel idea: When you write or post something in this day and age, just say what you mean, and mean what you say. Stop trying to make everything cutesy or unique and go with what actually works. Rather than coming off as someone in touch with the modern world, you will only succeed in confusing your audience or worse, insulting them.
Give them the benefit of the doubt and just present your ideas, strategies, and thoughts in a clear and concise way, and they’ll appreciate the honesty without all the fanciful words and phrases that have absolutely nothing to do with the ideas or products you or your company are putting out there for the world to see.
In closing, stop trying to make jargon happen. It’s not going to happen!