Jargon is like a secret insider language that only certain people can understand. For instance, the term "win-win" is business jargon for something that's good for multiple parties. While some people might be familiar with the term "win-win," it's not universally understood, so avoid using it in your writing.
Jargon isn't grammatically incorrect but overusing it can make your writing less accessible. We recommend replacing instances of jargon with more common words and phrases.
Almost every industry has its own jargon. If you've been in your industry for a long time, it's often difficult to recognize jargon terms because they've become such a natural part of your communication. That's why ProWritingAid checks your writing for jargon terms for you, so you can see where you've employed them and remove them. While you don't necessarily need to remove all instances of jargon from your writing, it's better to remove what you can to make your writing more accessible.
Some Common Jargon Phrases You Shouldn’t Use
There are just some phrases that you should really work to avoid using altogether. It’s not that you aren’t getting your point across – but more that these cliché phrases water down the importance of your original message. A lot of the time, we use these phrases only because in the moment, we can’t think of a better way to put it.
Here are a few of the most common business phrases to avoid:
“At the end of the day”
Sometimes, these phrases are all filler. If you really need a time phrase, a single word like "finally" or "ultimately" is better, but you can also simply cut this one. Try leaving off the jargon and see if your sentence reads fine without it.
"Think outside the box”
Oftentimes, people use this phrase when talking to new recruits to a company or when encouraging creative thinking. Why not simply say, “we need more creativity”?
This one can be replaced with “easy” or “simple” or anything of the sort.
Rather than telling someone you want to “touch base later” it might be more effective to plan a follow-up on a specific date.
Why not simply say that you need to set up a meeting with someone?
“It is what it is”
Anyone who has ever heard this from their boss can tell you, hearing it doesn’t make it any better. Why not just skip the patronizing and move on?
The truth is, not all jargon is bad – but there are plenty of reasons you should avoid stuffing your content full of it. Some of it – like these phrases – are simply overused clichés that everyone uses but no one really likes. Other times, it’s just confusing for customers or those who are new to your industry.