Jargon: special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.
That is the definition of Jargon. It is literally stating that “jargon” means using words that’s others find difficult to understand. Why would you want to use them when speaking to the public; especially in American, where we are a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, groups, religions and subcultures. But, as a PR professional, or crisis manager, many are guilty of this little sin from time to time.
Jargon doesn’t only confuse the uneducated, or even the average Joe. It can confuse anyone. I am an educated young woman with a college education. But if I was listening to a PR practitioner, or reading a press release from a local hospital on malpractice case findings, I probably would not understand what they were talking about if they used medical jargon. Words like: Tachycardia, Bradicardic, or Encephalitis. I’m an educated woman, I’ll be receiving my BA in Communications and Marketing in a few weeks, but still I don’t know what these words mean.
The point here is that:
- Jargon is annoying – it makes listeners tune out.
- It could possibly make one feel offended – when your public and stakeholders are being delivered a message, and they know, that you know, that they are the key public reviving this message, and you use jargon – they may assume that you are expecting them to know these things,and if they don’t they are incompetent.
- It is important to use language people understand – Use common language, explain, and do all you can to get your public to understand what you are saying. You are announcing the information for a reason, make sure your recipients understand, or all the effort was for nothing.