On 13 Oct 1995, Barry Mallis wrote:
> Jargon, as we are well aware, can be used as an exclusionary device.
> Regarding those who unconsciously wrap their communication in jargon, at
> least one hypothesis about jargon use is this:
> Jargon makes working adults feel they are more intelligent, have arrived
> at intellectual maturity of some sort, are worthy of recognition for an
> explicit "intelligence", are "complex" humans capable of complex thought
> processes where jargon is manifested. It is the weave of these and other
> characteristics which forms the cloth surrounding our natures.
> I do not wish to detract from what positive characteristics there are in
> the use of jargon in communication. Everything in measure.
What do you think the difference between tribal messages, gang language,
and jargon? I think it is two things (de minimus). First, perspective,
as workers, we are a part of the jargon and sense our working community
with the words and phrases that give us an edge. This is a function of
business called competition and will not be weeded out until becomes less
Second, language is dependent on societal norms. Using a word or
inflection in one setting is acceptable where it is not in another. New
employees using jargon too quickly are treated as though they have sinneed
against the great workforce provider. In classrooms, if you do not use
jargon soon enough, you are considered slow.
My study of American gangs reveals codes, hidden messages, and a change in
jargon that occurs rapidly (as quickly as same day or same hour). I
reflect on a study of twins (sorry I do not remember the citation) that
showed twins have their own vocabulary when speaking to each other.
So, jargon is used to not only to make "working adults feel more
intelligent," but to provide a sense of community and perhaps love and
-- Jesse White firstname.lastname@example.org