is defined as "special words or expressions used by a particular profession or group that are difficult for others to understand."
Nearly every profession, along with many businesses, have such special words and expressions.
Jargon is a great thing within a profession or group. It's a precise and efficient way to communicate
with people who share your understanding. However, if you're not part of that same profession or group, it doesn't work.
When we hear language that we don't understand, we feel distanced or shut out
. For example, many of us don't know legal terms like prima facie and habeas corpus. Sometimes we recognize the words, but we don't know what they mean in the particular context, for instance, engineering terms like crusher run and water table. That goes for acronyms too, like POS or APA.
If we don't understand, and it happens multiple times, we can get frustrated.
Sometimes we check out.
We don't ever want that to happen to other people when we're speaking.
So, what can we do?
- If we really want to use that special word or expression, then we need to introduce it and define it.
- Alternatively, use simpler language that is accessible to everyone in the room and makes the concept clear.
- Or give an example of exactly what you mean.
- Or tell a story that makes it vivid.
Don't leave anyone out.
Whether you are in a conversation, a meeting or giving a presentation, make sure that what you're saying can be understood by everyone in the room.