Jargon Gone Stale

monday-quotes-just-do-it-quotes18I compulsively finish tasks. I drive myself to finish and when I can’t finish, it nags at me. It pecks at my brain. I either have to finish it or distract myself. It’s a form of OCD I realize. It bothers me to even say those initials since it seems they are so overused. Do you know it’s in style, even cool, having OCD? I cringe just hearing someone say it. Which reminds me of the phrases that have come and gone some of them more annoying than others:

  • 24/7
  • the means to an end
  • moral support
  • down with that
  • welcome to my world
  • outside the box
  • whole picture
  • compartmentalized

You catch my drift?  The phrase becomes cool and who doesn’t want to be cool. So they use it in all of their sentences and commercials. Advertisers like to represent and connect with consumers, so they gather intel to use the most hip jargon. And then suddenly the phrase or word is annoying. I try to avoid jargon as much as possible, but it has a way of sneaking into our lives. We use it because it’s handy. The catch phrases sum up the sentiment that we are feeling. Until it becomes overused. Today the phrase welcome to my world seems rather rude. As if your world is much more difficult and challenging than mine. So if the impulse is there to say such a thing, I usually stop and say nothing. Or listen to their tale of distress.

Is jargon something you use? When do you like it, if ever? Maybe in a light moment? Or to say you belong in a group? A lot of times you can use jargon to bluff your way into a group, but that only works for a time. You’d better learn real information soon if you really want to belong. When I was first married I went to the nearest auto service to get my car’s oil changed. My husband told me beforehand to use the phrase LOF for Lube, Oil, and Filter. He said they’d think I knew more about auto mechanics, since usually being a woman is a sure flag for scamming. Who still needs the Lube in Lube, Oil and Filter Service? (LOF)

Sometimes tricks like these help others to understand you. You speak the language. If you’ve bought a new computer lately How to Speak Geek: Decoding Programmer Jargon or tried to talk with a doctor, you might know what I mean. Doctors will talk about tests that they need like SAT, MRI, CBC, Lipids, PSA. The puzzled look on your face sometimes will stop them, other times you have to remind them that they are speaking a different language.

Do we stop and think about what we are doing or do we just do what we feel compelled to do? I try to catch myself, to rephrase and use real language. What I say should have meaning behind it. And what I do should also. I’m not a shallow person and there’s always a sense that I’m missing the mark when I don’t speak or act with the intention or my goal in mind. Anyway, whatever. Carry on.

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