Buzzwords and Baloney: Insecurity Signals? No Way. Do You Like My Hair?

October 22, 2020

People like to sound smart and impressive. The belief is if they appear smart and impressive they will rub shoulders with the best of the best. The Next Web says otherwise in the article: “Using Jargon To Sound Smart? Science Says You’re Just Insecure.”

Apparently people who use too much jargon-use are insecure. Relying on a specialized vocabulary momentarily inflates their ego. This long known truth was proven by the study “Compensatory Conspicuous Communication: Low Status Increases Jargon Use.” The study found that professionals low on the corporate ladder used more acronyms in their written communication and relied on jargon usage when interacting with higher ranks.

All industries have their jargon, but it is alienating to people outside the specific industry. It is even more alienating to others within the industry, because if they are unfamiliar with the term they will not admit it.

Does this mean people on every corporate ladder rung has insecurity? Yup.

Unfortunately you cannot beat jargon users so it is better to join the herd:

“As much as it’s annoying and superfluous, jargon is unlikely to go away. So you literally have two choices: you can embrace it or ignore it. I’m of the opinion that if you can’t beat them, you join them. How? By using a technology bullsh*t generator — yes, you’ve read that correctly. This tool won’t change your life but you’ll definitely have some fun.”

Another fun thing to do with jargon enthusiasts is make up words. It takes practice, but if you speak confidently enough you will soon be “proclaving” [sic] people. Cloudify too.

Whitney Grace, October 23, 2020


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