General Question

turkeycube's avatar

Is it socially acceptable to use jargon around lay people.

Asked by turkeycube (11 points ) August 29th, 2008

Example: using computer jargon around a doctor

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Sure, just be prepared to explain yourself constantly!

blastfamy's avatar

So long as you don’t use it to belittle the other.

I am rather tech-savvy, and I don’t hesitate to say things in line with such knowledge. I’ll talk to most people as if they know exactly what I am saying. I just explain when people need to know what a specific term means. Most of the time, though, people are smart enough to figure it out!

gailcalled's avatar

Many times, the private languages of the professionals are confusing and can’t be figured out. If my doctor gets too technical, I ask him to rephrase. If there is some technical computer jargon used here, I ask if interested. I must say, I have learned a tremendous amount about the world of computers since I joined Fluther. (Ah have sometimes relied on the kahndness of strangers.)

cyndyh's avatar

I think you need to take your cues from the people you’re talk with. What’s interacting in the way you’re interacting telling you? What response have you gotten? You also don’t want to talk down to people who may know quite a bit about what you’re talking about.

JackAdams's avatar

I don’t use Jargon around others.

I prefer BAN, because it controls odor and wetness much better.

August 29, 2008, 10:12 PM EDT

nina's avatar

highly undesireable, unless you explain it

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

My husband used to talk in acronyms all the time cause he worked for the government and that’s what they do….maddening!

MarshallO's avatar

Not unless you like being a “show-off”!

blastfamy's avatar

@MarshallO, I would rather speak properly than in potentially misleading “layterms.”

For example, many people I talk to tell me that they are adding memory to their computers. When I ask how much, they tell me, “ohh, around 300 gigs.” I can’t help but look at them like they’re nuts! They really mean that they are adding more storage, but using the term memory the computer remembers it, duh! in place of storage leads people down the wrong path.

It is much better to say everything correctly, in the proper terminology, rather than to dumb it down. If someone asks, I explain to them exactly what I’m talking about. No showing off occurs, but people usually walk away understanding a lot more in the long run.

wildflower's avatar

There should be no need for jargon, unless it makes conversation quicker/easier – and that wouldn’t be the case around a lay person. If it’s in your area of expertise, surely you have a good enough understanding of it to easily be able to describe the same using layman’s terms.

stratman37's avatar

JARGON, take me away!

pathfinder's avatar

usefull is empty words/Jargon/.

MarshallO's avatar

@blastfamy: I am in no way suggesting that you “dumb it down”—merely explain things in terms understandable by the layman. Many “knowledgeable” people on certain subjects enjoy talking in terms not understandable by the average person, just so they can feel “superior”.

blastfamy's avatar

@MarshalO, true; when I am going for absolute understandability, I say things that most everyone can understand. Around lay-people is a delicate subject, though.

Say I’m trying to communicate with someone in technical terms at a table discussion. Only us two fully understand the subject matter. Should the two who understand be forced to essentially beat around the bush for the sake of those who often don’t care? As long as no one is being overtly showy, there remains no problem with people talking concisely. It allows for faster, more efficient and meaningful communication.

cwilbur's avatar

It depends on why. If I’m using it to communicate with a person who understands the jargon, and a person who doesn’t just happens to be there, it’s reasonable. (Although it still can be rude: excluding someone from a conversation unnecessarily is quite rude.) If I’m trying to impress someone who doesn’t understand the jargon, well, it’s not fine and I’m being stupid.

blastfamy's avatar

very true!

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