IT vendors worst for jargon, Deloitte says

IT companies are the worst offenders when it comes to communicating their corporate message, recording the lowest readability scores and using the most jargon, according to survey results released Tuesday by Deloitte Touche Tomatsu.

And jargon affects performance -- straight-talking companies outperform those that communicate in a vague, unclear way, according to a Deloitte analysis of 30 companies from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

These findings mirror results from two academic research projects, by Malcolm Smith of the University of South Australia and Richard Taffler of England's Cranfield University. These two independent studies concluded that clarity of communication can be an accurate indicator of corporate performance, Deloitte said in its report.

"If corporate America wants to restore public trust, we need to start speaking and writing more clearly. Less empty rhetoric about openness, honesty and accountability, and more straight talk," Deloitte partner Brian Fugere wrote in the report "We've had it with repurposeable, value-added knowledge capital and robust, leveragable mindshare."

To help companies evaluate how clear their communications are, Deloitte has developed a program known as Bullfighter, an add-on for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint which flags overly complex language and the use of jargon, and assigns the document a Bull Composite score.

BullFighter runs much like a spelling or grammar checker in Microsoft Office 2000 or XP and includes a 350-word dictionary of common jargon which users can add to themselves.

According to Deloitte, increasing vagueness and use of jargon in corporate documents may provide an early warning sign of troubles. It said that a review of Enron's communications during the last three years indicated that as its performance began to slide, its communications became increasingly laden with ambiguous words and sentences.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Legard

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?