The jargon that gave me clarity

It’s not often that I get to sit down and leisurely read a magazine, so I guess I should be grateful that three of my teeth are deteriorating and my Health Savings Account didn’t approve the dentist office’s charge for the overlays and crown. It gave me some time to sit on hold with PayFlex and peruse Details magazine.

Now, I never realized how big a fan I am of Details, but with features about Tom Hardy and Joe Manganiello, I learned something about myself. In any case, the April edition had a fabulous interview with Keenan Ivory Wayans and others who went into the founding of “In Living Color,” one of the best TV shows of all time (I’m showing my age since the article was about the 25th anniversary of the first episode).

But moreso, it had what I thought was a great piece about how jargon finds its way into the daily vernacular. Now, I doubt that I’m ever going to say that I’m going to “cascade” the itinerary to everyone, but I am definitely guilty of overusing “optimize” and “bandwidth,” among other terms.

Of course, I’m in the business of “search engine optimization” so it sort of makes sense to discuss optimizing. Unfortunately, I found myself not long ago talking to a client who stared at me blankly as I was throwing around industry terms. At first I questioned whether I was just showing off, or worse, using the words to make him think I know more than I do. But then I went to a conference, and listened to the speakers using all the same language, and better yet, understanding everything they were saying. So it occurred to me that I do know my industry, jargon is good terminology when talking to people who participate in that industry, and Details is so right, I cannot bring it into the conversation with “civilians.”

Otherwise, all they will hear is “yada, yada, yada,” and nobody wants that.