The jargon quiz for marketers

Take this jargon quiz to determine if your press releases and other content marketing materials could use a de-clutter from overused (and often meaningless) words.

We’re all marketers. Perhaps we’re not all full-time marketers or that’s not what it says on our business cards, but if you’re in business, you’re a marketer. And if you’re responsible for creating content to market your business – press releases, case studies, blogs, even emails – then there’s a chance that you’ve gotten caught in the jargon trap before.

Has this ever happened to you? You sit down to write a press release or other marketing material and you draft content of which you’re quite proud. It clearly states your news, it has the requisite quotes (bonus points if you got a third-party quote to validate your product or funding news), it’s not terribly verbose – all-in-all it’s a well-drafted piece of content. And because you’re emailing it to customers or sharing it on social media you have the content proofed (perhaps by a trusted PR partner). Then, it comes back to you with some derivative of the phrase “it’s too jargony.” (You’re thinking about what you’ve written recently that was too jargony, aren’t you?).

All industries have jargon they love -- healthcare, AI, martech, adtech, SaaS, cloud computing – they all have it. Even the lingo used for these industries is jargony. But it’s not just industry-specific, either, some of the biggest offenders fall under the big business tent. 

Think you have a handle on jargon in your industry or in the business world? Why not take this short quiz?

How many of these phrases can you correctly define (and, perhaps more importantly, have you written within the past two weeks)?

  1. “It is what it is.”
    1. A completely meaningless phrase
    2. Sound and the fury, signifying nothing
    3. Something people say when they are unsure of an actual answer
    4. All of the above 
  1. Innovative
    1. The definition of every startup or disruptive technology. Ever.
    2. What your company is compared to everyone else in your space
    3. See 1b
    4. Something done in outer space
  1. Robust
    1. A kind of salad dressing, which gives pasta salads and the like a nice kick
    2. Large and in charge
    3. A way to describe your business’ offerings, products or capabilities
    4. Extensive
  1. Turnkey
    1. The verb that describes the act of unlocking a door
    2. A phrase often associated with a variety of home-hunting shows on “HGTV”
    3. See 1a
    4. Ready to party
  1. Jargon
    1. Technical terminology associated with a special industry or group
    2. Obscure and often pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and unnecessarily long words
    3. Confused, unintelligible language
    4. Strange, outlandish or barbarous language

(The first few were a little fun I had at the expense of these overused words. The definition of jargon, however, is straight from Webster.)

If these words and phrases seem all too familiar, that probably means you need to cool it with the jargon. Don’t fret, though. We have this handy toolkit on how to craft an effective (and jargon-free) press release.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk.