The uses and abuses of jargon

6 July 2009

Have we gone mad with the way we use jargon? A sentence used by the police in this article suggests so.

I appeared on the Steve Nolan show, talking about this, partly defending jargon. In some cases, it can be helpful. For example, the label “Special Educational Needs” is jargony, but it’s far better than “remedial” or “backward”. I talked about how teaching and public services are full of jargon. Much of the jargon is about giving these professions a sense of identity, power, worth; making employees feel that they are part of a club. The problem is that parents and pupils don’t understand much of it.

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