With the rise of information technology and specialization in professional fields, language is becoming increasingly concentrated and specialized. The use of jargon has become standard protocol in the working world. This brief essay will discuss this phenomenon through a concrete example in order to highlight how jargon has changed the way we communicate.
According to Princeton University’s online dictionary, jargon is “a characteristic language of a particular group” (Wordnet). Considering how the internet has changed the landscape of media and language, the technical capacity and linguistic codes that programmers use has become increasingly specialized and technical.
For example, web designers speak HTML, JAVA, C++, CGI, SQL, PERL, etc… (Web). Each of these programming languages further specialize their knowledge and communication styles. Take HTML as a specific example. HTML is an acronym for Hyper Test Markup Language. According to the World Wide Web Consortium, HTML has its own specific structure and specialized codes (Raggett).
To get an idea of how specialized web design knowledge has become, try to understand this HTML code:
<p><img src=”sun.jpg” alt=”sunburst graphic”
width=”32″ height=”21″ align=”left”> This text will be
flowed around the right side of the graphic.</p>.
What this means for professionals is that they have to be fluent in whatever technical language their colleagues speak. The sales team would have a hard time communicating ideas with the programmers because they almost literally speak different working languages. This divergent specialization makes working across disciplines increasingly difficult for organizations to create dialogue between internal divisions.
Raggett, Dave. (2008). More Advanced Features. World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Guide/Advanced.html
Web Programming. (2008). Web Based Programming Tutorials. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from http://www.webbasedprogramming.com/
Wordnet Search. (2008). The University of Princeton. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=jargon