From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Technical terminology is the specialized vocabulary of a field, the nomenclature. These terms have specific definitions within the field, which is not necessarily the same as their meaning in common use. Jargon is similar, but more informal in definition and use, while legal terms of art or words of art have meanings that are strictly defined by law.
An industry term is a type of technical terminology that has a particular meaning within a specific industry. The phrase industry term implies that a word or phrase is a typical one within a particular industry or business and people within the industry or business will be familiar with and use the term.
Technical terminology exists in a continuum of formality. Precise technical terms and their definitions are formally recognised, documented, and taught by educators in the field. Other terms are more colloquial, coined and used by practitioners in the field, and are similar to slang. The boundaries between formal and slang jargon, as in general English, are quite fluid, with terms sliding in and out of recognition. This is especially true in the rapidly developing world of computers and networking. For instance, the term firewall (in the sense of a device used to filter network traffic) was at first technical slang. As these devices became more important and the term became widely understood, the word was adopted as formal terminology.
Technical terminology evolves due to the need for experts in a field to communicate with precision and brevity, but often has the effect of excluding those who are unfamiliar with the particular specialized language of the group. This can cause difficulties as, for example, when a patient is unable to follow the discussions of medical practitioners, and thus cannot understand his own condition and treatment. Differences in jargon also cause difficulties where professionals in related fields use different terms for the same phenomena. For instance, substantial amounts of duplicated research occur in cognitive psychology and human-computer interaction partly because of such difficulties. Template:Fact
The term jargon can, and often does, have pejorative connotations, particularly when aimed at "business culture". The marketing and public relations industries in particular have expanded the lexicon of jargon that marks the global business environment.
Examples of technical terminology
- Legal writing
- Critical vocabulary
- Variety (linguistics)
- Register (linguistics)
- three letter acronym (TLA)
- Eurodicautom a free multilingual terminology database