Wednesday, January 25, 2012


      Lingo is more than just a game on TV. According to Miriam Webster it is the special vocabulary of a particular field of interest.  It is also known as jargon or slang.  The differences between the three are very elusive and they are used interchangeably.
What is ”ROTFL”?  Jargon. What is “vertically challenged”? Jargon. What is “in the loop”? Jargon.
       Jargon is the “insiders” language that defines a specific activity, event, group, or product to other people within the group. It is a shortcut to communication among people in the know, but has little meaning to anyone outside the group.  It also makes your customers and clients very uncomfortable; akin to being in a group of people speaking a foreign language that you don’t understand. Politicians are famous for doublespeak and jargon.  It allows them to be understood, yet not very precise. 
       Using jargon, lingo, doublespeak or slang in marketing is a way of making your product or service sound more important or significant than it really is.  It is the secret code of your offering. To the uninformed, it makes the product sound like something they must have immediately or their world might come to an end.  Seldom does the public “read between the lines” to see what is really being said; and marketers don’t want them to.  Remember the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain so nobody could see that he was just an ordinary man, albeit with sage wisdom.
       Our use of language has become sloppy, especially with the explosion of technology.  Soon we will forget all together how to communicate clearly; slang, lingo and jargon will take over.  Nobody will know the difference between real and make believe.  They will simply be left “out of the loop”.  All of your marketing efforts will be lost, because people just won’t want to work hard enough to understand your message.
     Start now to be more clear and precise with your message.  Customers don't like to be talked down to and will always favor real, honest messages.