Jargon is "the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group." The philosopher Condillac observed in 1782 that "every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas." As a rationalist member of the Enlightenment he continued, "It seems that one ought to begin by composing this language, but people begin by speaking and writing, and the language remains to be composed." In earlier times, the term jargon would refer to trade languages used by people who spoke different native tongues to communicate, such as the Chinook Jargon.
In other words, the term covers the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest. Much like slang, it can develop as a kind of shorthand, to express ideas that are frequently discussed between members of a group, though it can also be developed deliberately using chosen terms. A standard term may be given a more precise or unique usage among practitioners of a field. In many cases this causes a barrier to communication with those not familiar with the language of the field. For example, bit, byte, and hexadecimal are jargon terms related to computing.
With the rise of self-advocacy movement within the disability movement, jargonised language has been much objected to by advocates and self-advocates. Jargon is largely present in every day language, in newspapers, government documents and official forms. Several advocacy organisations work on influencing public agents to offer accessible information in different formats. One accessible format that offers an alternative to jargonised language is Easy Read, which consists of a combination of plain English and images. Another alternative is a jargon buster, incorporated to certain technical documents.
- "Jargon". Merriam Webster. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Quoted by Fernand Braudel, in discussing the origins of capital, capitalism, in The Wheels of Commerce, vol. II of Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, 1979:234.
- Lundin, Leigh (2009-12-31). "Buzzwords– bang * splat !". Don Martin School of Software. Criminal Brief.
- jargon at Wiktionary
- Sonneveld, H, Loenning, K: (1994): Introducing terminology, in Terminology, p. 1-6
- Wright, S.E.; Budin, G.: (1997): Handbook of Terminology Management, Volume 1, Basic Aspects of Terminology Management, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, John Benjamins 370 pp.
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