If I thought there was even a chance of success I would wage a personal war on Jargon. The irony is that although many of us would joke that it's purpose is to hide the fact that it's employer lacks real knowledge on a subject, the opposite is actually true. It is a mechanism by which knowledge, often critically important knowledge, becomes exclusive without a sufficient level of information on which to infer the connections. Sure, some buzzwords and 'management speak' are awkward substitutions based on mangled metaphors and analogy but these are usually well known and honestly harmless once you get past the sensation that you're regressing to an infantile state.

Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession.
— Kingman Brewster, jr

Jargon exists to facilitate communication between a very small set of skilled individuals and is, often though far from always, a facilitator for efficient communications. Concepts and processes can be distilled into a word where they might otherwise require a couple of sentences but that compression is, in effect, an extremely rudimentary form of encryption. Without the key to decide it, the meaning is lost.

The fact that we all get frustrated with Jargon from time to time only demonstrates that the balance between the perceived efficiency gain and the friction caused by it's use is askew. I say perceived gain because (and without any real evidence to back this up) I believe the actual efficiency gain is negligible at best and when dealing with anyone outside of the in-crowd is a distinct efficiency loss — and cost in good will. Perhaps then we should all realise the benefits of plain and concise language, take a deeper breath and allow ourselves the time to be a little more verbose.


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