Jargon a problem? Let's use "plain English".

James Robertson wishes those in the technology field would eschew jargon for plain English. He quotes an article from Wired on jargon issues among distributed emergency and law-enforcement people. Here's the part that struck me:

"It turns out that the codes have different meanings from place to place. What's more, some agencies have added 11- and 12-code systems, and others have dropped the whole numeric thing altogether."

I learned from my anthropologist friends that all knowledge is local. So it's no surprise that meanings and practices differ from place to place. But I'm not sure the cure, "use plain English", is going to fully solve the problem. I think it will help, but local knowledge, context, and practice will rule no matter what the language.

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