28 May 2014


I hate jargon. Not the descriptive shorthand used within an industry that helps us communicate. Not the kind of words used in a tribe: Im talking about the business waffle nonsense that creeps into office vocabulary like the stink from a shit on a summer afternoon.

This might sound extreme. However, I have a big concern with this sort of unprofessional silliness : It gives people who have not got a clue something that sounds worth while. It gives some a voice to confuse distract others with. Ive seen this disrupt projects, cost money close small businesses.

The following words phrases I have heard far too much of in the past: These are no less than project ruining company destroying words phrases. They are designed to waste time, confuse or belittle others give a barrier to unproductive people to hide behind. These things bring down companies, at the very least, they degrade the quality of the end product. They most defiantly lengthen the process of creative digital design this means they make everything more expensive. With my rant over, lets break these beasts down make fun of them. Ive attempted to define the worst offenders, although some defy any explanation.

Full round table An everyone is invited to give their opinion meeting maybe? Although a half round table would be a semi circle table so…

Familiarity of source you will have to lie about something…but could you do it convincingly please?

Top of mind Refers to the thing you were thinking of most. The people who use this term rarely think of anything. This one destroys companies because it gives words to people who have contributed nothing, it allows them to say I wasnt thinking of anything without getting fired.

‘Capturing off Capturing out Make a list? Go do something? Who knows. Its a term for bureaucrats to say when they point at people who actually do the work.

‘Capture all’ …make a bigger list?

‘Cement the purpose’ My best guess is: Someone else take responsibility for this because I dont understand what is being asked of me.

‘In green fields’ In a perfect scenario. Its a way for people to waste time: Tell me what you would do in this scenario, even though we know this scenario isnt going to happen.

‘Peppering’ No idea, but you can use it when referring to anything creative that you dont understand.

‘Granularity’ If the meeting wasnt costly enough, extend it further by throwing a few of these around.

‘Bucket scrub’ The work that was put into a metaphorical bucket or left over, either because no one wants to do it or its creative work deemed by someone else to be of little value. The kind of thing you are told to waste your time with when a company is going under.

Pain points A marketing term that doesnt even mean much outside of the marketing department. Like shrinkage or Primary gifting period.

Your nirvana No idea but business men love it.

Broad Brush strokes Think less? Rush rather than do it properly?

A use Regularly listed in a brief as the desired outcome for a project.

Brand aligned Only ever used when building a brand therefore meaningless.

Spurious A word people use only when they know they are wrong but want to sound clever.

Keeping the flow Ive stopped you from working, for a meeting, to tell you that you need to keep working at this pace.

Response post Marketing term: You want to create some content but havent done anything worth talking about, so its time to talk about what someone else is doing. A great way to dilute a brand.

Push on numbers Something business people say to creatives. It doesnt mean anything.

For the quick win We have wasted lots of time in meetings. You will have to rush the creative work so we have something to present/deliver at the end.

Sanity checking Ive heard this used twice by a developer. I still have no idea what they meant but the company in question no longer exists. I think that tells you everything you really need to know about this silly term.

Bankable items Someone trying to make an office sound like a gameshow?

The 10,000 foot view …or if you want to really go for it, the 50,000 foot view!

Gravitas The work is pointless, but we want it to sound important.

Fighting fires something you say to someone when a deadline is coming.

Snacking, Ownable experiments Aligning with mindset No idea.

These words phrases might make people feel or look important. But they are a distraction, a tool to hide someone from being seen for what they are. Very rarely are the problems a business or creative team face caused by a lack of resources, a lack of expertise or knowledge. Businesses fail from a lack of being resourceful. When words like this are over used internally, they waste time, confuse delay projects. They allow people to look like they know what they are doing. If they are allowed to continue, they will cost time therefore money in some cases, bring down an entire company.

Avoid jargon question those who use it too much.