How I leveraged my dislike of jargon into this game-changing public service announcement
What would nine-year-old Josey think of me
now? She was going to change the world through investigative
journalism. And what happened to that novel I’d have published by
30? The years, they pass so quickly…
Sorry—what were we talking about again? Oh right, jargon. It’s
Jargon doesn’t actually make us sound smart; it’s an imprecise
way to communicate, and it baffles and bores our coworkers. I know
many of us in the corporate world feel this way; I frequently read
diatribes against the use of jargon and lists of particular words
I decided to create a video to illustrate how jargon is the
wrong choice—the easy way out. So I went to YouTube and watched a
bunch of antidrug public service announcements (and a smattering of
’80s-era after-school specials). Growing up in the U.S. as part of
the D.A.R.E. generation, antidrug PSAs warned us during commercial
breaks that the world was rife with shady characters ready to foist
on us everything unsavory from joint hits to ’roids and bags of
crystal meth. The PSAs of my youth were dramatic, often corny, and
usually ended with a foreboding slogan.
“Jargon: Don’t take the easy way out” is a public service
announcement that equates jargon with illegal drugs.
After writing the script and drawing a hideous stick-figure
storyboard, I remembered that I don’t know how to draw, so I
coerced some talented colleagues into making the animation. (Let’s
pretend this is Facebook so I can tag the brilliant Britt
Anderson and Dan Windsor. You guys are the best.) More coercing
followed, this time of colleagues to be voice actors. You know when
someone’s so good at playing a creepy part that you start to wonder
whether they’re a legit total creep in real life?
Will “Jargon: Don’t take the easy way out” eradicate jargon from
corporate culture forever? I don’t think my expectations are at all
unreasonably high when I say: Definitely.
By Josey Lee, Digital Content Manager, Landor