Keep your stupid jargon out of my profession

Sigh.  Why do people insist on using ridiculous jargon

As I reflect on my role as a developer evangelist, I aspire to be a force for developer empowerment.

Please, don't fucking empower me.  Give me the tools to do my job efficiently.  I don't want or need your "progressive" help in order to be "empowered." 

I bust my girlfriend's (metaphorical) balls all the time about jargon.  Her field is very closely tied to academia where the ability to say absolutely nothing while using jargon is extremely important.  In order to sound educated or professional these people believe they need to use words that are either completely inappropriate in the context or that have been made up out of whole cloth.  Whenever I read any of her work, I'm always pointing out jargon and asking why she couldn't say the same thing in simpler language.  I guess it sounds like I'm sabotaging her, now that I think about it!

In computing, there is only one jargony word that you'll see used often:  Deprecated.  That means obscelete, btw.  Hell, 90% of the people who use it say "depreciated", anyhow.  Depreciated can mean obscelete, so why not just use that?  Well, its too understandable.  And in order to sound like a professional programmer you have to talk highly of your efforts to refactor your code base to implement the Gang of Four Memento pattern, thus deprecating existing assemblies which do not implement that functionality.  Or you could say you're adding undo capability to your program, which will make some of your existing code obscelete.  But that would be muuuuch too easy to understand.

Programming Post by: McGurk at 04:31 PM | 6  Replies | Reply
Kick this post:

I don't think "deprecated" is jargon.  I think it's a buzzword.  If it is jargon, it's not technical jargon, but business jargon.

I use jargon all the time at work.  The worst thing that can normally happen at work to a box is the dreaded Blue Screen of Death!  (Unless the Magic Smoke gets out;  that's a Bad Thing.)   Since I work for a very small IT department in a non-technical agency, I find myself using jargon, especially silly jargon, as a way to make what I do sound interesting and myself sound skilled.  I like when the non-technical coworkers think I am a Miracle Worker;  it means they actually report problems rather than ignore them.

1 Posted by Civilis on May 18, 2007 12:49 AM (x82bI)

Lol... just remembered another bit of jargon we use often in the .NET world:  Obfuscate.  Which means to obscure.  See how friggin stupid jargon is?

2 Posted by McGurk on May 18, 2007 03:20 PM (Ri74D)

I still think I'm using a different definition of jargon than you are.  I'm using Wikipedia's third definition of jargon: "The specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group."  You're using "Speech or writing having unusual or pretentious vocabulary, convoluted phrasing, and vague meaning." 

To me, obfuscate isn't jargon, it's just an indicator that I have a big vocabulary and like to use it.  Meanwhile, I use specialized technical terminology, both official and silly, all the time.

3 Posted by Civilis on May 18, 2007 06:13 PM (huKGY)

My main problem with jargon is that typically the more complex or abstract a subject, the more people tend to use jargon.  That's primarily because one "fake" word can be used to describe a concept that is hard for the speaker to describe in common terms.  Its a crutch that more often hinders than helps communication.  People also tend to use jargon to hide the fact that they don't know shit about which they are talking.  You can see this whenever someone uses the word "hegemony."  If you hear somebody saying that word, just hit them in the mouth.  They are too stupid to realize you just smacked them.

4 Posted by McGurk on May 21, 2007 01:16 PM (Ri74D)

Sometimes it is jargon... and sometimes it's just using precise language.

5 Posted by ChuMommy on July 02, 2007 05:44 PM (vllfs)

I can be precise without being obscure.

6 Posted by McGurk on July 06, 2007 12:07 PM (Ri74D)

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