Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jargon Alert 3

The Marketplace Tech segment, which plays during NPR's Morning Edition show, is a place where jargon often breaks through into a mainstream context. I used to listen to this segment a lot about 10 years ago, but these days it seems less relevant to my life. Maybe that's because of the jargon, or just because I'm getting older.

Anyway, I managed to listen to a whole story a couple of days ago, about Amazon's new keyless home entry system. You may have heard about this. It's the system that will allow Amazon deliveries to be left inside your door when you're not home.

The guest was Jason Williams, who works for Assa Abloy, a Stockholm-based lock company. Their lock brands include Yale and Emtek, and they're one of Amazon's partners on the new system.

Jason was a fountain of jargon:

  • His company provides “door-opening solutions.”
  • Keyless locks, he admits, have been “slow to move in the lock space.” Lock space? Lock space?
  • Keyless locks so far have only “five to seven percent penetration.” I hate the term penetration (short for market penetration, which is a common but vile bit of marketing jargon).
  • The keyless systems are so far too expensive for many consumers. In jargon speak, this is the way you say that: the “price point has been a bit of an issue.”
  • Jason expects all this to change as the “use cases of digital door locks” become clearer to home-owners. I know what “use case” means — it comes from product design and user experience design — but that doesn’t mean it's not jargon.
Aaaggh. Time to go read some good writing.


It turns out I've used the headline "jargon alert" on here twice before (here and here).


Michael Leddy said...

I like the way every household in the Amazon commercials has an convenient empty area to the side of the front door. And no dogs or cats trying to get out.

Daughter Number Three said...

Yes! Amazon's ads in general are a subgenre of oddity. One particular ad is discussed at the beginning of this video:

Michael Leddy said...

“How many ounces are in a cup?” I think that tops my favorite college-student question: “How many letters are there in our alphabet?”