Brand-Free January

Scrabble Letter B
Originally uploaded by Leo Reynolds

Jargon can be a great tool … using it can help us feel part of a movement, an industry or company; and it can help condense difficult concepts so that we can demonstrate linkages. It can, however, become a problem.
Overuse can make us lazy in our thinking and communications. It can separate those who “get it” from those who don’t – and it can suck the marrow from the language that we should nuture and protect.
Mark Earls has thrown out a challenge. He is asking us all for a little more clarity and purpose in our writing and thinking:

But the word itself is a sloppy metaphor for a whole bunch of stuff (much of which isn’t entirely true) with the power to distract you from precise thinking, expression and action, (why ‘build the brand’ when you could be doing something really amazing with the service/product etc…?) so let it go…

Interestingly, at a meeting last night I tried it out. I refused to use the word, finding greater clarity in focus around the ideas of “business identity”, “customer interaction” and “business operation”. I even applied it to Twitter. But I had to concentrate. I had to choose e-v-e-r-y word.
Want to join in? Leave a comment, or tell Mark.

5 thoughts on “Brand-Free January

  1. I listen to a very popular podcast which welcomes a lot of guests on it. I tell you what, it is hard work sometimes with all these people who fill their sentences with bullshit words and phrases that they have made up to make their little focus sound important.
    I am seriously considering creating a bullshit bingo card that people can use when reading blogs or listening to podcasts.

  2. Great idea. I think people overlook the use of dynamic language when talking to multiple groups of people — who all have different perspectives and understandings.

  3. Very true, Jye. I am reading a great book at the moment and it talks about
    how the words we choose limits and directs our understanding (and our
    actions). Will blog about it when I have absorbed it well enough.

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