Posted by: lbnassar | November 27, 2006

Jargon busters

Kathy Sierra‘s blog has an interesting topic around jargon. One of the comments by Scott said: “If you can’t hold an intelligent conversation on a topic or discuss complexities within a topic without resorting to jargon, or if you can’t explain a topic to a layperson without using jargon, you are in no way an expert on the topic.”

Wow, does that ring true. How many times are you in a conversation and someone starts talking about some topic (esoteric, technical or other) and your question never really gets answered in common, everyday language (and you still have the same question)? I hate when that happens, especially when I live with a techie and have friends in many different technical fields.

Interesting experience around this: I saw a presentation on biotech that I thought was really well done, however it was not obvious to my 6th and 8th grade daughters, who operate at a slightly lower vocabulary level than I do. How many times do people feel less because of the language being used around them? And how discouraged they must be to initiate conversations with interesting people because of it?

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