Monday, May 16, 2011

Quote of the day

Most professions (including journalism) have insider language that has a social value for its users. Lawyers, consultants, athletes and others are no different. But anyone dealing with the public (especially when giving them bad news like a ground stop) is well advised to put aside the jargon. It makes you look not professional, but aloof and clueless about what your customers are going through.

FLG believes that the social value of jargon is overstated. While some jargon is useful in consolidating a complex idea into a simple shorthand, it is too often a linguistic secret handshake among the initiated, which FLG doesn't think is all that useful except insofar as demonstrating initiate status. That being said, using jargon when communicating with the general public is a terrible idea, for all the reasons Johnson explains.

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