With his trademark understated cultural satire, Bill Watterson strikes a chord for all of us who are sick to death of — or at least hopelessly confused by — empty jargon, meaningless, business-speak and other words that take up space but communicate nothing.

What you say matters. Your words have worth…or at least they should. If communication is currency—and it is—when you opt for content that says nothing and means less, you are creating message inflation, devaluing the currency of your communication and frustrating your prospects in the process.

Let me put it to you this way: How much would you pay for a gadget that… 

  • You may already have
  • You do not fully understand
  • Comes with instructions written in a language you do not speak
  • Promises no desirable results

I’m guessing you would not pay very much for one of those. You may not even take it home if someone was giving it away. So, why is it that so many people find it necessary to fill their books, websites and blog posts with insufferable jargon and empty words?

As an illustration, here is a work request a colleague of mine recently received regarding her need for contract help:

“Hello. I work with individuals and companies to build unique solutions to help take your vision to the next level. I would work with you to understand your objectives ranging from internet to creative marketing strategies and business development.”

This post reads like it was assembled in the jargon factory and picked up wholesale at the business-speak department of IKEA…some assembly required. Here’s another example, pulled from the ABOUT page of a random website:

“We are a fully-calibrated, collaboration-guided agency where everyone has a voice. {Company X} finds creative and innovative solutions for the needs of our clients. In a landscape that is ever-evolving, we are a dynamic team that knows how to get it done – smartly, effectively, and most of all, passionately.”

Okay, let’s do some quick word association…

“Fully calibrated and collaboration guided” sounds like what you do to a ballistic missile, not a marketing plan. Also, it’s wonderful that you have not hired mutes at your agency, and that the presence of voices allows your team to be dynamic at getting “it” done.

But there’s just one small issue…

You never explained the “it” that you get done “smartly, effectively, and most of all, passionately.” Without a specific, applicable message, there can be no call to action. So, your prospect will read your pretty words…and do nothing.


Avoid jargon and empty business-speak. Deliver simple, direct content that makes sense and compels the reader to action. That’s what Atlas Media Ink has been doing for more than 20 years.


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