Problem

Incomprehensibility of specialized jargon

Other Names:
Specialized jargon
Nature:

Awkward, contorted syntax and the use of unfamiliar technical terms impede the communication of specialized (particularly scientific, academic and professional) knowledge, both to specialists in other disciplines and to the general public.

Claim:

People are cut off from the world's knowledge by the use of specialized languages and forms. This has created a myth that only experts and intelligentsia can understand and use the wisdom of the humanities. People feel victimized by their lack of knowledge of 'in-group' terminology, believing that such wisdom is forever impossible for them to attain. The situation is further compounded by specialists who do not want to 'distort' their discipline through popularization. As an exasperated legal correspondent exclaimed, "Let the classics scholars argue in Latin and Greek, but let us get on with language of the people".

Counter Claim:

Like other tribal entities, corporations, professions and disciplines develop their own dialects as a way of linking members of the tribe and delineating their ranks. It bonds the user to the group and separates the user from the general society. It makes the user feel wanted. Professional gobbledygook contains coded messages which allows business to go on in a civilized manner and creates a neutral yet reassuring atmosphere for debate.

Related Problems:
Slang
Corruption of meaning
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Subject(s):
Languages
Date of last update
23.11.2017 – 21:04 CET