“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.
Twitter has brought the use of jargon into the mainstream. Here are a few examples:
- BTW – By The Way
- IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
- FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
- CYA – See You Around (most of us know of another favorite phrase)
- FYI – For Your Information
- LOL – Laugh Out Loud
“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.
What about you? Have you used jargon in any of your writing?