Shift that Paradigm!

jargon cartoon1

I do quite a bit of freelance writing, as does a good friend of mine. One of our regular lunch conversations begins, “You know, that piece went really well, but in end the client….”

Generally, the client reached out, complained about a paradigm shift, circled back with his subject matter expert, and wanted us to repeat the key takeaways.

Often that's fine. As a writer, I want my work to be clear and concise. As a businessperson, I have to respect the fact that sometimes, that's not what the client wants.

Every field has its own jargon, of course, but some terms are awful enough to transcend mere industry. Here are a few that deserve to be banned.

Aligned with
The poor wo/man’s substitute for “in agreement with.” People who are aligned with each other have the same relationship as planets that get into alignment – everything looks pretty, but in reality, they’ll never get within spitting distance of each other’s actual positions.



Thought This Might Be of Interest

MoneDavisCover1. Women doing science.
 LEGO released a new $20 kit featuring female scientists on Aug. 1 and it was sold out the first day! The LEGO Ideas Research Institute features a female astronomer, chemist and paleontologist and cool gear -- including a "fake mini chemistry and a LEGO dinosaur skeleton. The astronomer comes equipped with a sky map and telescope. Geoscientist Ellen Kooijman developed the new set, and LEGO Ideas members selected it," notes Thank you LEGO for finally recognizing that girls are interested in science -- and that there are many notable women scientists out there already!

2. "I will what I want." That's the tag line for an Under Armour video featuring American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland that has gone viral, garnering 5.6 million views on YouTube. While Copeland dances beautifully wearing, of course, Under Armour garments, a voiceover reads a rejection letter about her body not being 'right' for ballet. While she never received such a letter, Copeland did tell The New York Times that "it accurately encapsulated the resistance she had faced throughout her career." The commercial showcases Copeland's incredibly muscular and strong body, which she says highlights the "physicality of what it takes to be a dancer, and to be a professional ballerina, and is giving us the respect that we are just as hardworking as any athlete.” And it also shows that body image and marketing to women just may finally be turning a corner.

3. Throw like a girl? Yeah! Last week, Mo'ne Davis changed the meaning of that phrase forever. If you haven't heard her name yet you must be living under a rock. The 13-year-old is the first girl to pitch a shut out game in the Little League World Series, delivering a70 mph fast ball. That feat captured the attention of the world and every media property in the country, from NPR to Jimmy Fallon. Everyone loves Mo'ne and her underdog team, Philadelphia's Taney Dragons. We are thrilled to see her captured in perfect pitching form on the cover of Sports Illustrated!  As Sports Illustrated managing editor Chris Stone said, "Last week, this week, maybe next week, she's owned the sports conversation." Here's what she has to say about her pitching: "I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw and my fastball like Mo'ne Davis." 

Photo credit: Sports Illustrated

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