Modern Industry Jargon is Bizarre.

A corporation seeks to unify its workers by cultivating a culture. By extension, an industry does the same, and like any culture, language is part of what defines it. Those in the medical, police, financial and other professions all have their unique language of terms.

However, at what point does the jargon go overboard? In a sense, when does it all become saturated? Some industries, like the financial industry, should publish their own dictionaries. Everyday new trendy terms and jargon enter our vernacular at a pace that is dizzying. Most of it is absolute hogwash. It is designed more to impress than insight. The more we want, the more complex our schemes become, the more the demand for big words to describe our big thoughts.

I witnessed this phenomena first hand in the financial industry. For example, one of the best places to witness new words in motion was in the boardroom. The piéce de resistance of a boardroom meeting is the presentation. Ah, the presentation; the act of showing others you are worth something; the practice by which we flaunt cuff links and assistants by our side. Like the art of networking, the presentation is a must in the corporate world. If one neglects to partake in any of these they can forget the long, smelly ride to the top. It is here that we can be sure to be introduced to a new way of expressing things.

The presentation is one of those over-rated exercises that have become the strict domain of imposters and slick salesmen. Today, our sales techniques are so advanced and sophisticated we don't even know we are being pitched. It is here - snap, snap - we learn new words invented by some loyal pit bull in upper management. 'Rick, yeah, um, go with loan loss provision to describe write-offs. It sounds, um, more professional." Sort of like the garbage man becoming the sanitizing officer.

Brokers or bankers who talk to their clients as though they are Certified Financial Analysts are Certified Fricken Anal-ysts. "Yeah, we're coming out of a trough and stocks will rally. Capital ratios are indicating that coincidental indicators are giving an indication that I am really not sure which stock to buy." Pause. "Oh, so profitability is threatened by the ever growing weight of our own bullshit?" Touché.

Whatever happened to keeping things simple? Lucid and clear? Why does everyone have to sound like they have been polished at a beauty salon? Where's the human element to it?

It's just not in my former industry. Even in academic circles certain words find their way into the mouths of people who never pronounced more than three syllables. Prior to 9/11, who the hell spoke of multi-lateralism? The truth is that uni-, multi- duo and other lateralisms were repackaged words from a different era. Except, heaven forbid we ever use terminology from four decades ago. Have we not progressed?

If finding new ways to describe the color blue is evident that I guess we are progressing. Cologne rarely relieves the bad odor. In the end, should we be worried? If hurling big words makes us all feel good about ourselves, then who am I to lower a person's self-esteem? Now, I have to go prepare my personal business plan. I would like to get a loan to expand my body and mind. My personal Quick Ratio is .51:1. What's yours?

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