Gavin Wye

Independent User Experience consultant

The Jargon Circle

11 April 2013

Consider this situation. You're having a conversation with a coworker, you don't work together that closely and come from different departments and have a differing perspective on the correct way to do things. You are discussing a problem and don't have a shared history or understanding of it.

One of you uses some jargon to explain something. The other person knows what is meant, but also knows that phrase or word is damaging to the problem at hand. However now is not the time to challenge the use of jargon like this. That's not what you're focussing on. So, you let it go just this time. You do have bigger fish to fry at the moment after all. You're picking your battles. Good move!

But you've just increased the probability of this jargon being used in the future and accepted. Every time you stand by and let this happen you are legitimising it. It's best to nip these things in the bud and stop it early. But that's hard and often unconstructive.

Is there a better way? Possibly, just slow down, and take time initially. Then you will have time to question everything. Things like this happen when you don't have time to think are rushed and stressed.

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