The Word ‘Jargon’ Has Become Victim Of A Bad Press

Definition: Special words or expressions used by a particular profession or group which are difficult for others to understand.

The problem these days is that the word jargon is spoken of in such a derogatory way, that it has caused people to avoid using the very essence of a subject: its name.

A doctor talking on radio the other day, apologised for using the term ‘immunology’ in an explanation of his work because he thought it too technical for his listeners.

No, it isn’t.

Immunology is the name of the subject about which he was talking. What other term could he possibly have used which better describes it?

There is no need to shy away from any word that holds succinct meaning. Indeed, listeners are more often confused by presenters who, by trying to avoid such words, give their own – inevitably less exact – explanation.

Communicators are too often unaware of the power a single word has to convey the ideas they want to express.

Words contain meaning. Some of them are weighty and require in depth consideration by a listener; some skitter along snatching attention where they can; some float light as a feather to be noticed only in passing; and some, deliberate and barbed, snag the ear with unseemly force.

Those of us who wish to present clearly need to choose words which define our professions and hold on to our meaning across any crowded room.