Jargon, also known as the stuffy, abstract, colorless, impersonal, and wordy language that appears in much professional, pseudo-scientific, bureaucratic, and journalistic writing, is often intended to compensate for lack of creativity. Almost inevitably, it fails.
Writers of jargon overuse the passive voice and forms of the verb to be. They are fond of “noun-noun constructions,” such as food situation, long-term energy shortage problem, and precipitation conditions.
Frequent use of jargon is no excuse for confusing your reader. Important-sounding phrases are no substitute for simple, clear, active words. The following are some words and phrases commonly used by writers of jargon. None of them is intrinsically objectionable, but they often substitute for thought and meaning. Consider their respective alternatives.
|have a belief in||believe|
|put an emphasis on||emphasize|
|is indicative of||indicates|
|in the event of||if|
|impact||v. affect, n. effect|
|transcend||exceed or excel|
|condition||circumstance or contingency|
|in view of the fact that||because (6 - 1 = 5 words saved)|
|in connection with||with|
|of this nature||probably unnecessary|
|in regard to||regarding|
|character||vague; use a thesaurus*|
|in many instances||probably unnecessary|
|due to the fact that||because|
* Do not, however, become reliant upon a thesaurus. A thesaurus lists words, which are not always synonyms. Your professor can tell when you use a word but really have no idea what it means.
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