in Marginalia

Dalisay on jargon

Shown is a cover of what many consider as Jose Y. Dalisay's best collection of short stories

“People used to jargon — which is the way certain closed communities use special terms that are perfectly clear to them but not to others (like “myocardial infarction,” “collateral damage,” “network externalities,” and “ceteris paribus” — will tend to insist on those terms instead of more easily understandable ones. I’ve often been hired to “popularize” technical texts to render them more accessible to lay readers, and I think I’m pretty good at it, but I’ve sometimes found that — after doing what I was contracted to do — the client reverted to the original, finding the jargon-free version too strange for comfort.

So what do you do when your edits are overruled by someone far less capable, even after quoting ten sources to prove that “in spite” is two words and not one? Lick your wounds, read a good book, and move on. In spite of everything, you’ve done your level best at your salary range. Let them make fools of themselves if they insist; but if they don’t, make them shine like stars.”

– Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., from the second tranche of his two-part piece entitled Editing as a Profession, which was uploaded to his blog on October 25, 2010. [See: Jose Dalisay Jr.’s blog]

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