Definitive and Meaningless: The Rise of Jargon

May 20, 2020  •   David Pring-Mill

Jargon can be unnecessarily cryptic. It can also contain clues. It can point you toward a powerful idea or intention that got lost somewhere along the way, or that was too complex for easy synthesis and too tiresome to repeatedly express in full.

We’ve all seen jargon used as a tool to inflate value, or hide ignorance, or even instill feelings of ignorance in others and, perhaps, generate demand for understanding. The very words that were developed as a tool for technical precision come to offer a new advantage through their imprecision.

That imprecision may emerge accidentally, through inconsistent usage, or because the word itself was overreaching.

Either way, the truth, or at least relevance, lies buried.

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