made up words

Subject: made up words
From: UC Bobby Collins <ucbcolli -at- SYSTEMA -dot- WESTARK -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 09:21:48 -0600

Whenever someone is trying to explain something highly technical (or just
unfamiliar) to me, and I get lost in jargon, I stop them and say
something like, "OK, use another word for that, or just make one up -
I'll know what you mean." The idea here is that if they say, "the
up-and-down-switch-that-turns-the-thing-on," they will pull together
ideas to convey the message. This is what, I think, occurs in cases
like "honorability." And while we do have the responsibility to guard
the language (doesn't everyone!), we have the primary responsibility
to make a reader/user/client understand what they are supposed to do.


Bobby Collins
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Westark University Center Site, Ft. Smith, Ark.
e-mail:UCBCOLLI -at- systema -dot- westark -dot- edu

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