Should I use jargon in my writing?

If you’ve studied how to be a writer, you’ve read blogs like mine, or you’ve stopped to think about your writing for five minutes, you will inevitably think of jargon as a bad thing. At best, it’s a necessary evil. But we’re all taught to cut it out.

That’s normally good advice. But don’t be scared to use jargon where appropriate.

What does that mean?

For a start, make sure you know your audience. If they’re all going to be familiar with your industry, you can go right ahead and use all the standard jargon – it saves everyone’s time, and it avoids being patronising. And everyone knows exactly what each term means, which can be particularly useful if your readers don’t all have English as their first language.

Remember your writing isn’t always about conveying the meaning of the words. You may, instead, be wanting to create an emotional reaction in the reader – and jargon can make them feel that writer and reader are somehow on the same side of the same argument, or in the same team. This shared knowledge creates a bond that pulls your readers in, and makes them feel a commonality with the writer. That’s worth a lot.

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply