June 3, 2012
Inoculating Against Jargonitis
Every discipline has its own specialized language, its membership rites, its secret handshake. I remember the moment when, as a Ph.D. student in comparative literature, I casually dropped the phrase "psychosexual morphology" into a discussion of a Thomas Hardy novel. What power! From the professor's approving nod and the envious shuffling of my fellow students around the seminar table, I knew that I had just flashed the golden badge that admitted me into an elite disciplinary community.