A Manifesto Of Sorts

Jargonism is a manufactured term. It won’t be found in a dictionary. But that doesn’t preclude it from having meaning. And that is both a wondrous and problematic thing.

It is wondrous as it shows how words gather meaning from how they are used and it is that use, when combined with a context and the abilities of the interlocutor to comprehend the speaker’s intent.

It is problematic as it is an example of how language can be massaged into terms of art designed to convey narrow, potentially misleading, and often manipulative meanings.

I point this out to, hopefully, excuse myself from charges of the latter.

For the purposes of this space, Jargonism has two primary meanings.

1. It refers to how marketing, PR, media and politics in particular employ language and more importantly meaning to influence ideas and action.
2. It also refers to the notion that language is a living orgamism. It evolves and expands. Its parts form a system that sustains and influences itself to create a sustained and intentional whole.

It’s my intent to use these concepts as a lens to explore and discuss how words are used, abused, misused and confused in media, marketing & advertising, communications, political life and the common vernacular.

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7 responses to “A Manifesto Of Sorts

  1. I hope you don’t mind that I quoted the entire second paragraph on this page, with credit of course, in a paper on multi-culturalism for a course in human relations that I am taking at University of Nebraska, Kearney. Space and good manners negated the use of the entire page.

    Thanks.

  2. For the past year the story of the tower of Babel has been coming to my mind from time to time. When I read your manifesto it happened again.

  3. I believe you have a typo (“orgamism”) on this page

  4. Jargonism is an excellent word I love to use. That we don’t have in a dictionary does not matter. What matters is how people are receptive to it and find it useful – it should, because there is no other alternative we can find suitable. Pretty soon it should be on OED, if it wants to claim to be THE dictionary (or rather, lexicon).

  5. I think its primary meaning is ‘fond use of jargon

  6. I could not help but consider that the linguistic construction of postmodern hegemony furnishes a provisional lens for the analysis of the ideology of power/knowledge, especially in the educational field.

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