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Learning Objectives

In this lesson, you will focus on the following objective: Understanding jargon.


Vocabulary Terms 

Jargon is the specialized or technical language of a trade, a profession such as law or medicine, art, and sports.

Literature Connection 

You may not be familiar with the word artisanal in the quotation below.
“On the job, he found he had much to learn about the way his new country operated, which often differed from the careful, artisanal manners of Holland.”

 —Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, from “First Impressions” from De Kooning, An American Master

You may, however, have read or heard the word artisan, meaning “a skilled worker,” and know many words with the suffix –al, which means “like” or “characterized by.” The context, or setting in which the word appears, also gives you a clue that artisanal means “skillfully crafted.”

Words like artisanal, which are related to a specific field or occupation, are called jargon. This specialized language also includes specific meanings for common words.

For example, in “First Impressions,” a painter is described as naïve, which generally means “lacking experience and understanding.” As jargon, though, it refers to a painting style characterized by a lack of formal training. A brush in this selection probably is a paintbrush, not a hairbrush.

The chart below shows some examples of jargon.

Jargon Specific field or occupation Meaning when used as jargon
anomaly medicine defect
bug computers and technology error, especially in a program
czar politics person who is in charge of a policy or an agenda
Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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