Antijargon Project

When a group of peo­ple talk to each other a lot they de­velop terms that they can use in place of larger con­cepts. This makes it eas­ier to talk to peo­ple in­side the group, but then it’s harder to talk about the same ideas with peo­ple out­side the group. If we were smart enough to keep up fully in­de­pen­dent vo­cab­u­laries where we would always use the right words for the peo­ple we were talk­ing to, this wouldn’t be an is­sue. But in­stead we get in the habit of say­ing weird words, and then when we want to talk to peo­ple who don’t know those words we ei­ther strug­gle to find words they know or waste a lot of time in­tro­duc­ing words. Espe­cially when the group jar­gon term offers only a minor ad­van­tage over the non-jar­gon phras­ing I think this is a bad trade­off if you also want to speak to peo­ple out­side the group.

Re­cently I’ve been work­ing on us­ing as lit­tle jar­gon as pos­si­ble. Push­ing my­self to speak con­ven­tion­ally, even when among peo­ple who would un­der­stand weird terms a lit­tle faster, can be frus­trat­ing, but I think I’m also get­ting bet­ter at it.

I also posted this on my blog