ERIC Number: ED232234
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Jargon and the Teaching of Organizational Communication.
Brown, William R.
Students readily pick up occupational jargon from their special interests and studies. Nevertheless, the education and culture of teachers of communication typically have stressed the outright rejection of jargon of all kinds in the interests of honesty, directness, clarity, and economy of statement. Supporting the teachers ideologically are the critics of language. For them, jargon is almost always cast in the role of either buffoon or villain. Perhaps predictably, the attitudes of the authors of business and technical communication textbooks are similar to those of the teachers. However, jargon is (and always has been) indispensible to communication within a group of specialists. Therefore, the issues involving jargon should be faced by teachers of communication at every level. They should inform themselves about these issues and bring them before their students. Teachers should take a curious and realistic look at various kinds of jargon, try to distinguish the characteristics of each, the motiviations of their users, and their effects on audiences. Teachers should be aware of the background of jargon and how deeply woven it is in the fabric of American life and values. All of the resultant understandings should be placed before students and reinforced with exercises. Good jargon accomplishes the writer's purpose; bad jargon does not. Students should be given the kind of instruction that will help them to make informed judgments about using jargon in their communication. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Business Communication Association Eastern Regional Meeting (Philadelphia, PA, April 21-22, 1983).