Jargon is words or phrases which are commonly used by people in a certain profession or a group that are specific to their workplace or community.
These words and phrases are often difficult for others outside the group to understand.
It is important to remember jargon is different from slang.
And, there is no place for jargon in written English!
Its use may only confuse readers and they then may switch off and you’ll never get your message across.
So, what is jargon?
When jargon is used in a particular context there are few people who will understand outside.
Many professions use jargon – police officers, doctors, teachers, plumbers, retail workers – each profession has a certain set of words and phrases that are used in a unique manner. It’s like a special vocabulary.
Here are some common examples:
Chief cook and bottle-washer – A person who holds many responsibilities
Getting on a soapbox – Making a speech in public
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
And from Australia:
Back of Bourke – a very long way away from where you are now
While slang are words that are unique to a country or a culture and are often deemed to be rude or in poor taste, jargon plays a more professional role.
Jargon is useful for professionals when conversing with their peers.
It provides them with a language that is full of short cuts. They can get their message across quicker and with a greater meaning.
However, it has no place in professional writing unless it is used by a fictional character in a story.
Encourage children to write in a clear, concise way that will attract people to what you are trying to say and won’t alienate them.