An initial 4A N2...?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Jul 1 12:00:19 UTC 2002

>The lexicographer and the sociolinguist agree.


>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

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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