Jargon is terminology that relates to a specific activity, profession or group. Much like slang, it develops as a kind of shorthand, to quickly express ideas that are frequently discussed between members of a group. In many cases a standard term may be given a more precise or specialized usage among practicioners of a field.
Uses of Jargon
Jargon is used in several fields:
* Sports: One can find jargon just by watching a major league baseball broadcast, where commentators compete for the greatest density of technical sport terms and other sport-related metaphors.
* Medicine: Particularly in the operating room or under emergency conditions, particular jargons have developed that allow medical professionals to communicate quickly and effectively where common language would take much longer. This kind of jargon is also known as technical terminology.
* Information Technology and the Internet: Computer and programming jargons used by computer scientists, programmers, system architects, enthusiasts and hackers to communicate. The proper usage of these words is a sometimes considered prerequisite for inclusion in these groups.
* Nautical Terms, a good example of an ancient form of jargon.
* Jargon specific to the European Union, particularly its administration.
Pitfalls of Jargon
In some cases it is used to distinguish those belonging to a group from those who are not. This is sometimes called “insider” jargon. Those unfamiliar with a subject can often be tagged by their incorrect use of jargon. The use of jargon by outsiders is considered by insiders to be audacious, since it constitutes a claim to membership of the insider group. Conversely, since outsiders may not see the reference made via jargon, they are all the more sensitive to its more visible elitist social framing. Jargon often comes across as pedantic, nerdy, and divorced from meaning to outsiders.