Jargon makes it easier to write about technology. Technical ideas are often quicker and easier to discuss using the private language of engineers and geeks.

Some technical terms pack a lot of meaning into a single word or a phrase. There are times when jargon is a useful short cut.

Even so, try to keep jargon under control. And only use it in context.

It can be a barrier to understanding. A lot is misused or confusing. Remember sometimes specialist language is used as a deliberate tool to hide meaning from outsiders.

There’s no excuse for indulging in the robot-speak used by corporations and government departments.

And there’s an argument that jargon can be a form of intimidation or bullying.

Jargon doesn’t make you look smarter. It tells your readers you’re a pompous windbag.

Often it makes your words, and your meaning, harder to understand.

Remember, not every reader is a native English speaker. And not every native speaker is tuned in to specialised language.

Some pet hates:

  • Ongoing – and ongoing situation is worse.
  • Going forward – if you mean in the future say so.
  • Ground rules.
  • Upturn.
  • Outcome is a particularly nasty piece of political and bureaucratic doublespeak for result.
  • Currently.


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