Some Things Never Change: Tech Jargon Still Confuses People

from the haven't-we-heard-this-before? dept

This one should come as no surprise, after study after study after study after study have all talked about how tech jargon confuses and worries people. Guess what the latest study says? People are still confused by tech jargon, even as they’re using the technology that the jargon describes. Of course, this could be spun as a positive thing. The fact that the technology is being used, despite not knowing the jargon, suggests that companies are finally selling on the benefits, rather than the jargon. But, of course, the flip side would suggest that the jargon has just confused people into buying.

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Comments on “Some Things Never Change: Tech Jargon Still Confuses People”

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charlie potatoes (profile) says:

smug assholes

I can see all of you techno-geeks basking in the glow of your smugness…you speak geek.. the rest of the oldtimers and feebs can’t touch you. lol.. big fucking deal. we all have jargon…
i doubt you would understand an english professor if he got down on your feeble asses with some donne or marlowe. so…pat each other on the back..and be content in your superiority…you are all big frogs.. at least in your very tiny pond.

Dosquatch says:

Re: smug assholes

I can see all of you techno-geeks basking in the glow of your smugness…

Oh, come off it. That’s entirely not the point. Sure, you’re going to have a few asshats who think “I know something you don’t know” makes them special, but that’s a big brush you just slapped a bunch of people with.

Jargon isn’t about defining an “in crowd”. It’s about efficiency of communication with fellow experts, and it happens in all fields. Go to your local garage and listen to the gearheads. Go talk to a group of electricians, or welders, or accountants. We all have a collection of scary words and alphabet soup acronyms, but they’re all so we can talk to each other. It was never meant for you to be able to follow along. If it were, I would take the 20 minutes to explain to you what the 5 seconds of gibberish I just mumbled to my coworker meant… what’s important is that he understood me.

And for the record, 20 minutes isn’t a dig at you, your intelligence, or that fact that you aren’t part of the “inner sanctum”. It’s that those 5 seconds of gibberish are predicated on years of education and experience that my coworker and I have in common that you do not, and 20 minutes is (on average, in my experience) what it takes to bring you up to speed enough to understand the answer.

There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m sure you have expertise that I do not. I’m sure you have your own 20 minute speeches that you have to deliver to explain something that seems painfully simple and obvious to you.

Basically, don’t take it personally, and make the next sales critter who spouts this stuff at you speak English instead.

TechGuru says:


This article is pointing out the obvious. It’s the same for any group’s jargon or any other language. You won’t understand it unless you learn it. In this case, it’s only the tech geeks that have the deepest desire to learn all the talk and key-phrases of the tech world. Big flippin deal! It’s the way people act, where’s the shock here?

What could change though is the way SALES PEOPLE talk to customers. They could maybe dumb it down a bit instead of attempting to sound smart to thier customers. I’ve seen many sales people spew total crap, mostly catch-phrases and ‘jargon’ I don’t think they understood. That’s the only real downside to Tech Jargon, but it’s no one’s fault but the stores that allow it to continue. *COUGH* BestBuy…. *COUGH*

Anywho, don’t get too upset if you can’t understand it, maybe you just don’t have the amount of interest as those who always use these words and phrases.

J says:

RE: Duuuuuuuh

Agree with you there. I am techsupport for a isp and whenever i take a customer over to our sales dept I hear the most fantastic technical jargon. And none of it is true. It is something that the sales people are pulling out of a very dark place. And to protect yourselves from it you need to be able to have at least a basic current understanding of the tech world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Everyone with a field of knowledge or expertise is smug, even you Mr. Potatoes. I’m sure you’d roll your eyes, and smirk if I asked you whether Russet or Red Gold made a better choice for mashing.

Point is, every group has jargon, and every group has smug asshats what will glow when people look blankly as the subject is brought up.

Random Guy says:


The word “jargon” wouldn’t exist if everybody understood it.
The word itself refers to a vocabulary understood by only a certain subset of people. If jargon were common words and phrases then they would just be part of our language and understood by most.

Therefore all these studies are studying is whether tech jargon merely exists. Which is really a simple question to answer since they probably looked up some tech jargon to use in their studies.

What a waste of time and money.

Anonymous Coward says:

why aren’t lawyers considered? have you ever read a legal brief? hell, half the time when i watch Law & Order, or any other law show, i’m like wtf did he just say? they base their language off of latin. a dead language (however the term always bothered me)

and i can assure you that lawyers think more highley of themselves than some techno-savy geek. lawyers do it for the ‘respect” techno geeks do it for the love. (serioulsy, how many hot chicks do you see with lawyers compared to the latest techie?)

i guess because the world is so heavly dependent on the tech sector, we get a bunch of this shoved upon us. ohwell..

Lay Person says:

It's clear that...

The problem here with modularization is, that you must explicitly create and destroy your L handles. Then you use the procedures of the module to modify each of your handles.

In contrast to that, in OO programming we would have as many L objects as needed. Instead of calling a procedure which we must provide with the correct L handle, we would directly send a message to the L object in question. Roughly speaking, each object implements its own module allowing for many Ls to coexist.

Bob says:

I still get idiot customers that call their monitor a modem, and think its the PC itself.

Stupid people are stupid because they let themselves be, not because we have not properly educated them on technical jargon. Most morons know a car has 4 tires and dont refer to the gas tank as a spedometer. Dipshits have to be willing to teach themselves technical jargon because we cant do it for them

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