Jargon Blacklist

The following jargon have been provided by the community. If you would like to contribute a jargon please click on the Add to Jargon Blacklist button.

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What jargon term annoys you the most? Why?

the word brainstorm is used when people are going to have a 'think' about something and come up with ideas for whatever reason at the time..
Definition of storm in English by Oxford Dictionaries
A violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow
Brainstorm sounds like your brain is headed for a very rough time, not an appropriate word to describe people thinking.


It is a widely used term within the hospital setting and elderly people in particular that have memory loss will not be able to respond to medicla terms at times or be able to respond to terms due to their confused state and age as this term may not have been used. It is best to focus on the issue clearly and openly ensuring the person understands what is being said.
Effective verbal communication with elderly unwell clients in particular is using language that is familiar to them and avoiding medicla terms altogether if at all possible. It helps to focus on the issue at hand or the medical issue the person has been admitted with i.e. person with dementia rather than demented person.It is important to be very clear and affrim and paraphrase what is being said.


As in, "Hello dinowilliam". It is overused in my community and needs to stop. Most people don't even use it correctly.

failure to progress (in labour) and failed induction

Anything with word failure risks making patients feel like they have failed and that it's their fault

rusty trombone

not sure what it means in a work context


as in a marketing 'piece' or a research 'piece'. Why is it a piece? What's wrong with using normal words like task, job or project.

deep dive

Many reasons, but see also: 'drill down'. And it pairs with another pet peeve: 'high level'. 'High-level' is code for 'I couldn't be bothered producing something useful so I'll give you a 'high-level summary'. Has anyone ever seen the content from which the high-level summary derives?

fit for purpose

Because why would create products, communications etc that are NOT fit for purpose? When organisations suddenly start using this term, it rather begs the question: what were they doing before?

health literacy

The term itself is jargon which makes it confusing for people to understand a simple concept (especially outside of the public health sphere).


Learning is a verb. It's grammatically incorrect to make it plural. Use the word "lessons" instead.



fake news

it just means news you don't like or is biased but not really fake

Drill down

"Drilling down" is using an tool

lived experience

An experience is just that. A dead person may have experiences but they don't usually report back. An experience can be described eg Horrifying, peaceful etc or located in the past present or future but by definition it is lived. It is usually said to make a statement about the source being more valid then another although this is often just inferred vs other sources eg research.

We ‘reached out’ to

Used in inappropriate contexts. To reach out used to mean contacting someone, in a compassionate way, in order to help them (especially someone in need). Now it is used to mean contacting any person or organisation for anything and - most annoyingly - often used when something is wanted from the party being contacted, or that party is even being harassed for something.

vino prostitutionis

It means whining people, you know but no one understands that


Can’t we just say, ‘let’s have a look’ instead of ‘let’s unpack’ something


Just say group!

Do you censor this list?

Comment about non-binary not appropriate. Is this list censored?

"Upper limb" instead of "arm" and "lower limb" instead of "leg"

"Arm" and "leg" are perfectly precise words. Everybody knows what they mean. They are short and sound good. "Upper limb" and "lower limb" are garbage words. The two things, which are quite distinct - arms and legs - actually sound similar, now that they each have "limb" in their two-word terms. Ridiculous.

What jargon term annoys you the most? Why?
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Why should I pledge?


6 out of 10 of people in Australia have low health literacy.

Many Australians have trouble understanding and using information provided by organisations. They also have trouble navigating complicated systems like healthcare services.

When we use jargon, technical terms or acronyms, it is hard for people with low health literacy to understand and use information.

Drop the Jargon Day this year is on 23 October. Pledge and take part in activities at your workplace. Make it easy for people with low health literacy to get better information and outcomes from services they use.

Drop the Jargon 2018


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Pledge to Drop the Jargon

  • Use plain language in all communication – with other staff and with clients
  • Not use acronyms
  • Explain medical and other technical terminology
  • Check that information has been understood by your clients
  • Work with a professional interpreter when your clients have low English proficiency
  • Politely point out when your colleagues use jargon

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