What is Jargon?

“A special language belonging exclusively to a group, often a profession. Engineers, lawyers, doctors, tax analysts, and the like all use jargon to exchange complex information efficiently. Jargon is often unintelligible to those outside the group that uses it.” - American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
“I have a level 85 dwarven paladin, an 82 shadow priest, and I'm currently leveling a warrior through Northrend, although I spend most of my time tanking instances in the Dungeon Finder. I've held off on getting Mists of Panadaria because I got burned out on endgame progression after Wrath of the Lich King and the Cataclysm content is still new to me. Plus monks seem redundant in an era of dual specialization and viable hybrid DPS, and while I know they're well-established in the lore, Pandaren don't appeal to me. So I'm wrapping up a Taunka questline in the Borian Tundra, trying to determine if I should go to Dragonblight or Grizzly Hills, and now you know how I feel when you won't shut up about sports.” - Nathan Anderson, @NathanTheSnake, emphasis added.

Jargon can become a subtle but effective barrier between groups of people. As such, its proliferation is not consistent with the goal of building A World That Works For Everyone. The purpose of the Jargon policy is to have the language of this project match the language of the rest of the world, to the greatest extent possible. See also isolation on the Zion page.

An unfortunate reality about language is that the same communication can mean different things to different people. Part of being responsible about your communication is saying what you say such that the person hearing you understands what you mean.

If you notice that you can make an 'inside joke' about what you're doing, look again: you have isolated yourself.

How should it be handled?

  1. Avoid redundancy. Doublespeak for fun and profit is one thing; but using the same words and phrases over and over has the same effect as jargon whether you're using it correctly or not.
    1. Make friends with a thesaurus.
  2. If a word or phrase is being used incorrectly, find something that communicates the concept better. If it's an invented concept for which there are no words or phrases other than the jargon, challenge the concept. Refactor it into concepts that do already exist in the vernacular. I realize that's a lot of work and could be disruptive.

Where it still exists

Everywhere, lol.

Places where it has been replaced


ground_rules/jargon.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/17 01:57 by admin
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