Jargon – How and When to Use it in Writing

Day 10: 
Jargon vs Slang copyJargon – What is it and when is it okay to use it in writing?

Jargon is a literary term defined as a use of specific phrases and words by writers in a particular situation, profession or trade.” It is deliberately developed and used for a particular occupation or businesses. Consider legal or medical terminology.

Even though I retired from nursing twenty years ago, I still use medical jargon. Old habits die-hard. For example, a medication taken as needed is, in medical jargon, referred to as a PRN medication.

Twitter has brought the use of jargon into the mainstream. Here are a few examples:

  • BTW – By The Way
  • IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
  • FAQFrequently Asked Questions
  • CYA – See You Around (most of us know of another favorite phrase)
  • FYI – For Your Information
  • LOL – Laugh Out Loud

Jargon is not the same thing as slang. What’s the difference?

Slang, more often spoken than written, is a type of informal category of a certain language developed within a certain community and consists of words or phrases whose literal meanings are different from the actual meanings.” Think about the South. We have quite a few slang words and phrases. I’m sure you’re aware of the Southern slang expression, Y’all.  

When is it appropriate to use jargon in writing? 

Jargon is used in non-fiction, academic papers, professional documents, essays, and fiction. There’s a place for its use, but you most know the audience you’re writing for and provide enough explanation that the reader will understand.

Want to know more about when and how to use JargonCheck out Write it Sideways article, How to Use (not abuse) Jargon, Slang and Idioms.

What about you? Have you used jargon in any of your writing? A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

12 thoughts on “Jargon – How and When to Use it in Writing

  1. Very valuable information, thank you so much. I just finished my book, a historical novel about the life of my parents – in German I must add, and I always like to find great advice like yours out there. Thank you so much!


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