using jargon


Technical terminology is often called jargon. The dictionary definition of jargon is “special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand”. Sounds OK eh. Nothing to worry about.

But the word jargon is often used very negatively. It either means that someone is talking a load of nonsense, or they are deliberately using technical language in order to appear important, or they don’t know how to speak in plain English, or they are attempting to make themselves appear more knowledgeable than others. Here the negative use of the term jargon is about – another dictionary definition – confused unintelligible language, a strange outlandish or barbarous dialect or obscure and pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and long words.

The problem in academic communication is that people often assume that the first definition – “special words used by a profession or group” is the…

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