An initial 4A N2...?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Jul 1 01:57:46 UTC 2002

On Sun, Jun 30, 2002 at 09:49:44PM -0400, James A. Landau wrote:
> I say yes.  If a word is jargon, it is not slang.  If an employer gives his
> employees a glossary of words which the employees are required to use, then
> the words in that glossary have become jargon.
> A clarificaition:  a word can be part of the technical vocabulary of one
> group, and therefore jargon as far as that group is concerned, yet be slang
> to the outside world.  "Homer" was the only example I could think of.  A
> baseball player is not unlikely to get into a discussion of the alleged
> home-team bias of a particular umpire, and therefore finds "homer" meaning
> "umpire biased towards the home team" as part of his technical vocabulary.
> To the fan in the stands, however, "homer" is merely another, and not very
> necessary, term for a home run.
> Yes, a word or term can simultaneously be jargon, within a particular group,
> and slang outside that group.  See examples above.

I'm not sure I agree with this--why can't there be a word which is both
jargon, in that it is part of the technical vocabulary of some particular
group, and also slang _even to members of that group,_ if it has the
rhetorical marking, insociant, etc. attitudes one would otherwise
consider a hallmark of slang?

For example, take the word _bumsickle,_ in use among medical
personnel to refer to a homeless person suffering from hypothermia.
This would strike me as jargon in that it's got a specific meaning
among medical personnel, it describes something for which there's
no other brief synonym, it would be used in real medical situations
to communicate something etc., but it also strikes me as clearly
slangy for various reasons.

Jesse Sheidlower

More information about the Ads-l mailing list