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Corporate Jargon and Why People Love Using It

The Doe Team

by The Doe Team

| July 21, 2022

This blog takes a look at different types of work jargon content and shows why it’s so popular.

Are you fluent in work jargon?

The ability to speak in business jargon has become a major characteristic needed to not only fit in but thrive in many workplaces. It is so popular, in fact, that “professional” influencers exist to help you figure out how to say what needs to be said in just the right language.

The workplace has understandably been a setting infused with particular language to maintain professional decorum. Nonetheless, many professionals find the jargon so ridiculous that it has also become a popular comedic bit across social media.

In this blog, we take a look at a range of work jargon content and talk about why exactly it has become so popular among people working in professional environments.

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The Spectrum of Corporate Speak

There’s a lot of content around work jargon out there, and we’re going to look at a few that aim to help professionals become more fluent or make fun of the contexts in which it's used.

Those Who Help

Laura is @loewhaley on Instagram and has 1.5M followers, likely gathered for advice on how to navigate situations like jargon and boundaries in the workplace. This is the accepting end of the spectrum, where followers seek to gain a better understanding of workplace lingo.

In this video, she leans on her “Work Bestie” to translate phrases into corporate speak. For example, she asks how to professionally say, “What you are saying does not make sense.” Work Bestie replies, “We seem to be having different understandings on this. Can you elaborate further on your thought process here?”

 

 

The comment section is flooded with exclamations of gratitude and promises of practicing such eloquent translations.

However, there is also the occasional irritated sentiment: Why do we even have to do this?

Those Who Satirize

Those who are sick of the jargon might find themselves on the other end of the spectrum, rejecting the norm and soaking up the satire.

The content for these folks is plentiful.

There is a bingo card with the most common phrases and metaphors used in the office that look fun, depending on how prevalent the jargon is in the workplace. You can also find a four-quadrant graph, ranking terms from clear to incomprehensible and tolerable to annoying.

Then there are videos, full dramatic reenactments of life in the workplace. Long Haired Businessmen has a 20-minute video of an unnecessary meeting full of digressions, workplace alcoholism jokes, interruptions, blurred boundaries and utter confusion for everyone. This one has reached over 150K viewers.

 

 

Another popular one takes place with a rapid drumline backdrop to a “professional” email thread that gets so convoluted and petty, the real issue of a lost file isn’t addressed until the end.

 

 

Between helpful tips and outrageous satire, what does the internet find so appealing about work jargon content?

Why People Are Loving Corporate Lingo

From helpful to laughable, corporate jargon content’s popularity is simple. 

It's relatable. 

The content highlights some of the most common feelings about this language. For instance, jargon is loaded with subtext, and that subtext can be indirect and annoying to translate on a daily basis. It also clogs communication in meetings and emails, wasting everyone’s time.

From needing help phrasing things politely to making fun of the rotation of professional lines used in unnecessary meetings, the working audience has a place to go for all things professional. 

Clearly, the sentiment is common. If these make you laugh, or you feel constantly behind in work jargon, you’re certainly not alone.

Final Thoughts

Sure, it’s not always easy to find the balance between being polite and direct in a digital workplace, especially when you don’t have the benefit of added body language and tone. Without a smile or understanding nod, those emails can sound snappy or so indirect you end up lost by the end.

However, loaded jargon doesn’t seem to be working anymore, and all that subtext can be just as irritating as an impolite message.

Perhaps this mass work jargon content is a call to write emails and speak without the lingo and aim to sound a little more like ourselves and a little less like the long-haired businessmen.

If you enjoy our take on jargon, you might like some of the other pop culture topics we write about. Sign up for our newsletter to get blogs sent right to your inbox.

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