The Year in Jargon: 2012

From the old standbys to the newbies, here are 10 words that drove readers to the brink of insanity this year. Plus, a prediction for next year’s most maddening word.

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No matter how many times you change “learnings” to “lessons” or “paradigm” to … well, something actually meaningful, the jargon keeps pouring in. Despite the setbacks, writers and editors must soldier on—you’re the last line of defense.

Last week, we asked readers to name the absolute worst jargon from 2012, the words and phrases that drove them bonkers. After sorting through the dozens of entries, as well as consulting with a number of people on the ground—that is, those working in corporate offices and PR firms—we noticed two patterns emerging:

1. Corporate communicators are still tired of the usual jargon, such as leverage and synergize, yet they seem to be growing somewhat tolerant—though perhaps inured is more like it.
2. Social media jargon is the emerging culprit, as many respondents said Internet-born acronyms and adjectives are driving them to drink.

Although readers and sources identified dozens of words and phrases, we whittled the list to 10. Here is the first-ever* PR Daily Year in Jargon:

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