On Jargon: Why We Should Not Hide Behind a Wall of Linguistic Excess Reply

One of the smartest scholars I have been fortunate to work with, Dr. Campbell at University of Minnesota, ground into my psyche one important idea about my own writing and scholarship: if you can’t say it in plain English that an educated person can comprehend, then it’s likely you are not saying much at all.

Scholars are often guilty of such excess, but today we see the same pattern in the writing and speaking of “elite” bloggers, trendy authors, and those who shout loudest over Twitter.  Perhaps MBA programs could be accused of similar excesses.  But this morning I came across a nice quote from distinguished scholar Henry Jenkins, previously at MIT and now at USC, which captures my sentiments about jargon in the communication and management industries.

And as always, someone says it more elegantly than I can so please allow me to quote.

This is also not a talk about gamification, a term which is being used far too often today, as if it could adequately sum up the larger movement towards games for change. To me, gamification as a concept grossly simplifies what research on games-based learning has shown us over the past decade or so.”

You can read Prof. Jenkins’ talk about play in education at his blog.  In addition to great ideas, you will see how leading ideas can be expressed without linguistic excess. Enjoy!

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