My nephew recently posted the following on his Facebook wall: "I hate listening to people who talk to everyone like they are puppies". I totally get it kid. When listening to these people talk I often wonder if they know their "Puppy Talk" sounds like verbal vandalism...

On occasion I'll receive emails & resumes from people who reference system names from their organizations as if I should know what they are talking about. It's most common on resumes and like my nephew with the "Puppy Talk", this "Gibberish" talk drives me insane.

Comments like the following "Gibberish":
"Managed production database for IABX92 for 18 months"
Should be rewritten to something like the following:
"Managed production database for product quoting system for 18 months"

At my current shop we receive data from lots of different partners and I see the same "Gibberish" when communicating with these partners. We were recently working on receiving a certain type of data from a partner and sure we received a note from them containing "Gibberish" which needed translation:

"Project Goonies will migrate FLEET Associate Master Data to the BEAN system"

I have no idea what project Goonies is, no idea what "FLEET Associate Master Data" is and I've never heard of the BEAN system. Perhaps the "English" version should have been:

"We've begun a project called Goonies, which will integrate additional types of data which we call Fleet associate data into our master system which is called BEAN. The completion of this project is important to you because ...".

I was very tempted to send an email back to the sender asking them to interpret their email to English, but I decided to ignore the "Gibberish" and I asked them to let me know the impact of these actions to the objectives of the project.

In my world there always seems to be exceptions to rules and there is in fact a good time to do a little bit of "Gibberish" name dropping. Let's say perhaps you are applying for a different position within your organization or for an organization which you used to work for, then doing some "Gibberish" name dropping is fair game, but I'd recommend augmenting the "Gibberish" with a bit of English, just in case...

"Managed production database for IABX92 product quoting system for 18 months"

If I was the hiring manager for the IABX92 system, looking to hire someone to work on this system, this candidate's "Gibberish" name dropping would most likely work in their favor.

In summary, let's try to cut out the "Gibberish" or at least keep it to a minimum. When communicating with people take a moment and put yourself in their shoes. Do they know and understand all the "Gibberish" terms you are using? If there is a possibility that they might not understand "Gibberish", tone it down a bit and communicate by using terms and vocabulary you believe your audience will understand. If you don't, you might as well be talking to yourself.

Until next time...Rich


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