Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

WAC / Engineering & Technology

Using Technical Jargon

Using Technical Jargon

“The isometric dimensions are scaled to one quarter inch!” or “Use AutoCAD for your  3-D models.”  These are a great example of jargon. 

What is Jargon and Who Uses It?

Jargon is a specialized terminology used by a specific group of people in a specific field of interest. 

  • Jargon can be a word, a phrase, or an abbreviation. 
    • For example, drafting jargon could include: dimension, plane, horizontal, section view, isometric, CAD. 
    • These words are specialized words that have specific meaning to specific people in the field of drafting.

 When and With Whom Should You Use Jargon?

Jargon should be used when communicating to others in your field.  In drafting, you should use jargon with other drafters.  It will make no sense to use jargon to talk to, for example, your nine year old brother because he will not understand the vocabulary.

Use Jargon

Use jargon when working with a fellow worker, drafting student, or employer who is in the field of drafting.  Jargon can be used in both written and oral communication.

  • Written Communication
    • Use jargon when writing a paper or drafting class, presenting a drafting document to your co-workers, or an employer.
    • Use jargon only to avoid long, cumbersome explanations.
    • Use jargon to abbreviate or as acronyms.
      • For example:  CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing), BIM (Building Information Modeling), Dim. (Dimension), Conc.(Concrete), CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit), Stl. (steel).
    • Use jargon to sound professional and competent.
    • Use jargon for specificity and precision.
  • Oral Communication
    • Use jargon when speaking to another professional in the field.
    • Use jargon when explaining, describing, or defining things like an idea, product, drawing or illustration to other drafters.
    • Use jargon at a job interview or with a professor to show your knowledge and content competence. 
    • Use jargon to get to the point with those in your field.
    • Use jargon to persuade those in your field.

Don’t Use Jargon

Avoid using jargon when:

  • Speaking with others that are not in your field.
  • When you are unfamiliar with the jargon.
  • When trying to impress others—this comes off as pretentious.

For more Jargon tips, click on the links:  www.UNCP.edu, Owl Wrtiting Lab @ Purdue

Back