Jargon is a specific type of language used within a particular profession or group. It is a collection of specialized words and expressions that hold a specific meaning within their context, but might be difficult for outsiders to understand. While it can be used correctly to describe technical language to other professionals, it can also be confusing and even pretentious.
What is Jargon?
At its core, jargon is a type of technical language used by professionals in specific fields or activities. It allows people to communicate efficiently and effectively in their work by using words and expressions that are well-known within their profession but might be unfamiliar to people outside of it. However, using jargon can also create confusion and misunderstandings when used with people who are not familiar with it.
Examples of Jargon
Just about every profession has its own jargon. Plumbers use terms like “elbow,” “ABS,” and “snake,” while doctors use terms like “myocardial infarction” and “anoscopy.” Lawyers use terms like “amicus curiae,” “subpoena,” and “voir dire.” People in marketing use terms like “PPC,” “CTR,” and “brand equity.”
The Positive and Negative Sides of Jargon
On the one hand, jargon can be used to efficiently communicate with professionals within a specific field, leading to increased productivity, clear communication, and a sense of belonging to a professional network.
On the other hand, jargon can be misunderstood and alienating to people outside of the specific profession or field. It can be seen as a way to exclude outsiders or create a sense of superiority among insiders. Using jargon can also make it difficult to communicate with other professionals, even within the same field, if they are not familiar with your specific jargon.
Why use jargon?
Using jargon can allow for more efficient and precise communication among professionals in the same field. It can act as a shorthand, conveying complex ideas or concepts quickly and easily to insiders.
What are the dangers of using jargon?
Using too much jargon, or using it with people who are not familiar with it, can cause confusion and misunderstanding. It can also lead to a sense of exclusion for people who are not familiar with the terminology, and can create unnecessary barriers to communication.
Jargon is a specialized language used by professionals within a field or activity. While it can be useful in certain contexts, it is important to consider your audience and use jargon judiciously, being mindful of how it might be perceived by people outside of the specific profession or field.