Steven Lipin, US Senior Partner, Brunswick, New York
When I was at The Wall Street Journal, it was pounded into you to write clearly, concisely, and free of jargon; and to write not just for your sources but so your mother could understand it too (or at least your readers’ mothers).
If my mother, an erudite and voracious reader, who was not steeped in the business world but followed every story I wrote, couldn’t understand what I was writing about, then it was too “inside baseball” (oops, jargon). Now, usually it didn’t get to that point, as copy editors at the Journal were fantastic about catching corporate-speak. But it wasn’t easy. The problem was the subject matter: the corporate world was – and still is – so filled with spools of jargon and made-up words, that avoiding the lingo was nearly impossible.