Re: When users want jargon

Subject: Re: When users want jargon
From: SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 13:17:59

Steven Jong mentions: "Jargon can be useful, and sometimes necessary. But
words made up out of laziness or ignorance, left unchecked, proliferate
like weeds, and require just as much diligence to remove."

Then he proceeds to give some examples. I became amused, because while I
agree with his point, I disagreed with an example of his. At two different
places I've worked, I've heard the term "migrate" used as "standard"
computer jargon. I found a lengthy definition at one site, after a simple
(if this web editor breaks the link across two lines, you may need to paste
them together again)

The reason it was quite so amusing to me is that I had a discussion last
week with one of the programmers I support, who speaks English as a second
language, about the word "deselect". It is widely used computer jargon,
found in several style guides, IIRC, but it doesn't show up on

I believe a useful branch of this discussion may be "By what criteria do
you determine whether a specific element of jargon is acceptable or

The easy answer is "by what the audience wants", but it's not necessarily
that cut-and-dried. So, what are *your* criteria, folks?


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