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The Jargon Killer - A Tribute to Simplicity

Published: Thursday, 23 Sep 2010 10:11 AM ET

• By: Jane Wells

published on CNBC

Readers of this blog know how much I loathe the jargon thrown around by consultants and middle management types, people who want to get "granular" or "facilitate" or "circle back." Argh. Last February I blogged about all the various ways corporate America has ruined the English language by trying to sound smart rather than speaking plainly. You sent in your favorites: words like "bucketize" and "blamestorms", phrases like "deep dive" and "rigorous decomposition". Arghhhhh. Wait, what's this? Is that a beacon of reason I see on the horizon of the world wide web? A tribute to simplicity? Yes. Welcome to Type in your least favorite piece of double-speak and the web site translates it into something you can actually understand. It may also give you a jargon-heavy sentence to illustrate how to use the word appropriately, or it may provide snarky assumptions about the type of person who would use such language. For example, I typed in "bucketize" and learned it means "categorize". It was also shown how to use it in a sentence: "We can't boil the ocean, so let's start by bucketizing the deliverables and picking the low-hanging fruit." When I typed in "deep dive", I learned it means "focus on or explore details." But I also learned that the person who would say "deep dive" probably also says "hard stop", "show-stopper", or "net new". Net new? That's net new to me. The person behind the web site is also on Twitter, tweeting, "How many times have you heard 'aha moment' this week? 3? 4? 27? Make it stop." Aha! I like this outside the box thinking! I hope to circle back regularly.


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