The Effects of Slang in Corporate Communication

Image source:  MARY CYBULSKI |

It is true that the most exciting aspect of English language is its constant evolution. The previous days, I was asked by a friend about the modern slang used by teenagers or the “netizens” nowadays. He threw a number of words and to my surprise, I didn’t have any idea of what those words mean. So since I am bored, I thought, why not do a little research about the effects of this prevalent slang words to the corporate communication. Here’s what I found:

     1.       Miscommunication. As it is true that the English language is not static and it refreshes over the period of time. But slang slowly dies out along the way. However, this type of communication is acceptable in a certain group of people, a certain age, and certain ethnicity. In business, it has a negative effect if constant usage of slang is used. There is no guarantee that business partners and vendors may be familiar or understand a certain "lingo" and may be unclear on communication.

"...this type of communication is acceptable in a certain group of people, a certain age, and certain ethnicity."


2.  Formality is deteriorating. We all know that slang is an informal language used for verbal communication in an informal situation. However, this does not mean that it has to invade the office communication. Corporate communication and business language are far from having a conversation along the street where you can just use the words you wanted. Business communication is important in a way that the ideas and words do not die out as time passes by.

3. Lack of office engagement. A group of people in the company uses different words for different functions. It sometimes creates confusion and lack of constant communication within the team or department. Example, the IT team will talk about cached out, 404, etc. that accountant may mean a different thing. A cookie is a food meant by servers and cookie meant differently for IT geeks, knowing that server is also a different thing, not an occupation. 

There are so many slang words used by different departments according to their functions and as a result, it is hard to be able to relate to one another. The best cure will be is to familiarize ourselves with occupational or departmentalized slang. Learning new terminologies will give you the flexibility to communicate with different groups in different situations. After all, language is not dead, it continues to evolve as civilizations continue to improve.