Who needs thought when you’ve got jargon

A friend of mine who knows my weakness for jargon and my aspirations to critical thinking sent me a couple of texts the other day which he’d garnered from his work.

The WhizzyDooDad is designed to provide customers with a variety of resources that, when used as part of a learning program that incorporates learning courses, will effectively apply professional competencies and reinforce learning content from those courses.

Desired Outcomes

  • Application of e-learning to real business situations and needs
  • Increased competency and productivity through the application of new skills and knowledge
  • Leveraged investment made in learning and classroom training
  • Increased use of learning/training programs
  • Projects or initiatives can be related to and/or integrated with a blended solution.
  • Learners have increased potential for actualizing new skills and behaviours “on the job”.
  • Learners take on new roles as facilitators and/or observers of skill transfer
  • Promotion of a learning environment/culture.

I’ll spare you the rest; I’ll even spare you my sarcastic analysis.  You’re intelligent.  You can supply your own.

My friend rewrote the thing entirely, without any reference to the original. Here’s an excerpt from the new version:

The introduction of WhizyyDooDad means that those of us who work in the department can easily find someone to give practical advice on whether or not an app [ie a software application – AB] is the best choice for a particular task. It also makes it  easy to find out what apps we already use and save money by choosing the ones we already have licenses for, instead of going out and buying something entirely new which does the same thing. We are no longer limited by what we know as individuals and in our local teams – we all share our knowledge.

The second paragraph isn’t particularly elegant, it still includes jargon and the last sentence is fluff, but it is at least clear fluff.

When I pointed out that the two texts say completely different things – the first talks about customers and training courses and the second talks about finding experts and reducing license costs – he shrugged, so far as you can shrug on Instant Messenger. “That’s what happens when you substitute jargon for thought”, he said. Which is a fair point well made. It is still one hell of a leap from Text A to Text B.

One response to “Who needs thought when you’ve got jargon

  1. Yikes. It certainly looks like two completely different WhizyyDooDads are being described there. If you hadn’t said so, I would never have guessed they were the same thing.

    The difference between ‘the customer’ and ‘we’ is quite striking.

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