jargon tagged posts

Critique Technique, Part 17: Dialect, Foreign Languages, and Jargon

This is the last post in the series on characterization. Next time we’ll move on to setting.

Confused person
Photo by Jeroen van Oostrom, via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’ve traveled around the country, or watched TV or the movies, or done just about anything other than live under a rock, you know that people speak differently in different places. They have different accents, different slang terms, and different styles of speaking. Compare the laconic Mainer or cowboy to the fast-talking New Yorker. And that’s just in the United States! Canadians, Britons, Scots, Irish, New Zealanders, Australians, and some Indians and Kenyans (to name just a few) speak English, too.

And they all do it differently.

England’s WWII Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill famously described America and ...

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Science Education Under Attack—The Language Barrier

In my first article in this series, I wrote about how certain groups were attacking evolution and the “big bang” as “only” theories and how the word theory means something different to scientists than to everyone else. But this isn’t the only case where words have different meanings within and outside of science. This time the fault lies within the scientific community, rather than with those who oppose teaching legitimate science to children for allowing the confusion to continue, or for making it worse.

There are two related problems here: technical jargon and unique meanings for common words.

Technical Jargon

Confusion Jargon is a problem in every line of work...

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