The Transformative Removal of Jargon for Impactful Writing

As someone with a bachelors degree in English, I pay attention to words. When I worked as an administrative specialist in an IT department, I was careful about using terminology correctly–even if I only half-understood the technology behind it.

So when I see jargon overrunning both the technology and non-profit fields, it annoys me. Of course there is a need for new words and phrases, especially in the technology fields; but where a perfectly good word or expression exists, it’s not necessary to reinvent (or rename) the wheel.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently published an article by Elizabeth Ortiz entitled “How Jargon Can Damage Nonprofit Work” that targets three buzzwords run amok–impactful, transformative, and innovative.

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The $1.1 Trillion Industry You Don’t Know

Several years ago, when I was employed by the American Red Cross, my Mom told me about a conversation she had with my brother.

Mom had mentioned something about my work and my brother said, “Oh, that…. When is she going to get over that non-profit thing?”

That “non-profit thing,” Mom explained, was my job. Sure I could make more money working somewhere else, but what I was doing was worthwhile–and although it wasn’t a lot of money, it was enough to live comfortably. (Thanks, Mom!!)

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