Avoiding Slang and Jargon

When writing business documents, only use jargon when necessary with appropriate audiences, and completely avoid slang words. This article will teach you how to differentiate between jargon and slang.

Slang; The term slang includes words, expressions, or the special use of language, used in informal speech.

Slang is especially common in pop, rock, jazz, and rap music, as well as in films, all of which tend to have international audiences. As a result, many foreign speakers who have learned more formal registers are sometimes surprised when they hear expressions like: "I gotta go! " (I have to go now!), or "What's up bro?" (How are you, my friend?). In certain regions, certain dialects may have this non-standard language incorporated into "normal" speech. Writers of official documents or papers should avoid using slang, whatever the context.

Jargon: The common vocabulary used by specific professions or groups of people within those professions.

Legal jargon, medical jargon, and police jargon are all examples of different types of jargon that exist in very different professions. A standard term may be given a more precise or unique usage among practitioners of a field. In many cases, this causes a barrier to communication with those not familiar with the language of the field. As an example, the words RAM, bit, byte, CPU, HDD, and hexadecimal are jargon terms related to computing. When writing business documents, it is recommended that authors should use jargon only when necessary with appropriate audiences who understand their significance. Using simple verbiage instead ensures understanding by a broad spectrum of users.

Business jargon includes terms like bandwidth, deliverable, bad apples, low-hanging fruit, and Six Sigma. The image below illustrates the most annoying business jargon per a 2019 survey of 1,000 U.S. employees.

chart annoying business jargon

Source: Boundless, https://rachel.worldpossible.org/mods/en-boundless/www.boundless.com/business/textbooks/boundless-business-textbook/business-writing-5/word-choice-46/avoiding-slang-and-jargon-235-1215/index.html
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Last modified: Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 5:11 PM