We need to get rid of business jargon. Do I have your buy-in? | Adrian Chiles

My first job as a journalist was in business news. Although it wasn't my first choice, it was my only one. Although I was just as confused as any other work experience bod, I decided to try and understand what they were saying. No teacher ever encouraged me to ask questions at school. My hand was always raised. My concentration is severely impaired at best. I lose my ability to concentrate if I hear unfamiliar words or phrases. I must raise my hand and ask for clarification. I'm sure my teachers were tired of it, but not as much as the staff at the BBCs Business Programmes section.I'd like to know what RPI is.Someone would have to explain inflation.What does it mean?Retail Price Index.Oh. Oh.Et cetera.This was all I recalled from a conversation with Philip Collins, a speechwriter about his book To Be Clear. A Style Guide for Business Writing. He explores the reasons why business writing is so boring, dull, and difficult to understand, along with its jargon and cliches, in his book To Be Clear: A Style Guide for Business Writing. Collins squints inexplicably at the 2015 address that Microsoft's chief executive gave his employees. Satya Nadella explained to his flock that their mission was to empower all people and organisations on the planet to achieve greater. Is there anyone on the planet who can do more? Is that really true? Collins's question, "If every person, regardless of their passion Benedictine monks or repertory actors performing Shakespeare, the company that cleans Birmingham city council," is a great way to ask if they will find their ability to live a good life enhanced through Microsoft.This is the truly frightening thought: There must have been people present that day who bought this drivel and admired their boss for sharing it.It's almost cliché to be amazed at the new and horrible buzzwords. What was the exact moment when people began telling us that they would return to us rather than revert? When did things begin to move at a faster pace than they used to? Are you ready to buy-in? Core competency? Before evidence-based policy, what was the basis of policy? Take a Planet Cringe tour to search for mission statements of companies. McKinseys is my favorite so far. This promise is to help organizations create Change that Matters. McKinseys is the capital letter. The consultancy partners with clients at all levels of the organization to bring about this Change That Matters. What is the C-suite? This was a new one for me. What or who is the C-suite? What is the C? It depends on whether you ask someone plying their trade at the frontline or someone who sits in the C-suite. It turned out that the C was chief. Please.My radio program featured Collins' conversation. The conversation was entertaining and, according to the text, it was enjoyed by all. Alison, who was a former bank senior employee, stated that jargon was a gift of someone desperate to succeed without any extra talent.Another message disturbed me. One man from Wiltshire, who worked for several large corporations, said that the introduction of buzzwords (a new language) is a form control. You can influence people's thinking by getting them to speak like you.It is true. I know this because it has been my experience. In those days, I would use any opportunity to learn new jargon as soon as I learned it. This was my way of proving that I was mature and above any bewildered work-experienced kid who came after me. This is a brilliant and brave person who uses the simplest language to communicate their thoughts.