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pejorative term applied to speech or writing that is considered meaningless, unintelligible, or ugly. In one sense the term is applied to the special language of a profession, which may be unnecessarily complicated, e.g., "medical jargon." Jargon can also mean clumsy language that is hard to understand, synonymous with gibberish or gobbledygook, or a mixture of languages that serves different people (see lingua francalingua franca
, an auxiliary language, generally of a hybrid and partially developed nature, that is employed over an extensive area by people speaking different and mutually unintelligible tongues in order to communicate with one another.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a social dialect. Jargon is distinguished from conventional spoken language by a special vocabulary and expressive phrasing, but it does not have its own phonetic and grammatical system. It develops within more or less closed groups—for example, schoolchildren, college students, servicemen, and various professional circles. Jargons should not be confused with occupational dialects, which are characterized by the well-developed and concise terminology of a trade or occupation, or with thieves’ cant, the language of the declassed, criminal elements of society. Jargons are lexically and stylistically heterogeneous, distinguished by the instability and quick changes in current usage. For instance, “to disappear” was expressed by the verb stushevat’sia in the middle of the 19th century, and by smyt’sia, and then sliniat’ and vytsvest’ in the 20th century.

Jargons have found their way into fiction to illustrate the protagonists’ speech characteristics. Besides jargons arising on the basis of general language, there are jargons that appear as a result of communication among a polylingual population in border regions or conglomerate areas such as seaports.


Zhirmunskii, V. M. “Problemy sotsial’noi dialektologii.” Iv. AN SSSR: Seriia literatury i iazyka, 1964, vol. 23, issue 2.
Skvortsov, L. I. “Ob otsenkakh iazyka molodezhi.” Voprosy kul’tury rechi, 1964, issue 5. (Bibliography.)
Kostisinskii, K. “Sushchestvuet li problema zhargona?” Voprosy literatury, 1968, no. 5.
Shveitser, A. D. “Nekotorye aktual’nye problemy sotsiolingvistiki.” Inostrannye iaiyki v shkole, 1969, no. 3. (Bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, jargoon
Mineralogy rare a golden yellow, smoky, or colourless variety of zircon
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


The specialized spoken language of an industry or profession. The high-tech world is naturally loaded with jargon. Contrast with "slang," which refers to words used as alternates to other words or that are used in certain venues only. See syntax.
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References in periodicals archive ?
unintelligible," "formulaic gobbledygook." But legal scholarship is, if possible, even worse: it is "incomprehensible, pretentious, pompous, turgid, revolting, jargonistic gibberish." Michael Stokes Paulsen, Captain James T.
Skip the jargonistic pages, find wonderful ways to recall, refresh and even celebrate the fact that such horror could never come to destroy such culture.
However, whether or not Watt's psychobiographical approach appeals to one, he still appears original in his choice of examples, fairly persuasive as he marshals his evidence, and a generally wise and effective writer: one neither vituperatively polemical nor jargonistic.
Scholars like Orwell have beautifully presented a vision of a society in which the state exercises effective control over people, through deliberate manipulation of language, by introducing a turgidily jargonistic form of language.
Awkward, jargonistic, and often confusing, if not blatantly ungrammatical, prose abounds, while punctuation errors such as the prolific misuse of commas conjure up an image of undergraduate missives that remain resolutely unresponsive to the promptings of the editorial red pen.
only jargonistic author in an otherwise thankfully jargon-free
Recommendations that bureaucrats learn to write plainly and communicate ideas well are followed by Foster's own jargonistic recommendations such as to create "effective receptors for transmitting information" (p.
Jargonistic articles on economic development flooded the journals throughout the 1950s, but by 1960 economists were beginning to question the explanatory power of this kind of economics.
First, note the evocative words from the table of contents: "synth-rockers," "cyberdelia," and "mechanical spectacle." The words are unsystematized, jargonistic, and perhaps ephemeral, but they express the work in a way that standardized vocabulary would obscure.
Pat Gill's sensitive account of Millamant and Mrs Fainall is similarly openended but shows very agreeably that one can expose moral premisses in literature without resort to jargonistic excess.
To suppose that they are irrelevant when they are not explicitly and directly invoked in jargonistic formulations misses the richness of our ordinary moral language and discourse.
Although the terminology was selected for its neutrality, the jargonistic language often obfuscates the vitality of the discussion, impinging on its readability.