Last week at work we had a bit of confusion in bindery. A guy (22) used the word “make ready” and a woman (62) was like “what?” She’s worked in bindery for at least 10 years and never heard this word used before, I guess. I stepped in and explained to her that “make ready” is the same as “set ups”. When she was satisfied I turned to the guy and laughed: “you just like to use jargon!”

He said, “What? What’s jargon?”

Alrighty then. I thought this was one of those words they still taught in school. I know that it’s where I first heard the term.

Jargon is (according to Google Definitions) “special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.” I used “toss and turn”, “work and turn”, and “case vs box” for examples we use in the shop.

I’ve tried to keep politics out of this blog, but this seems to be the post that most deserves a mention. There’s at least one word that keeps popping up in a political context that is definitely an important bit of jargon:


For this one, I’m going to a better (in my opinion) dictionary: Merriam-Webster.com:

Full Definition of THEORY

:  the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
:  abstract thought :  speculation
:  the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory>
a :  a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn>

 b :  an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances —often used in the phrase in theory <in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>
:  a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <the wave theory of light>
a :  a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation

 b:  an unproved assumption :conjecture
 c:  a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>
Theory, as a word, gets misused all the time in political debates. One of the most common is that “evolution cannot be real because it’s just a theory.”
Here’s the problem. Scientists use the word theory as jargon. It has a VERY specific definition within the scientific community: 5 :  a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <the wave theory of light>. Opponents choose to use the “English” (as I refer to it) definition, which is: 6 b:  an unproved assumption :conjecture. It’s comparing apples to oranges. Or when a box is a box and when it’s actually a case.
I’ll keep this short as I leave you with an important bit of advice:

One thought on “Jargon

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