Tech Terminology Can Be 'Poetic,' Says Dictionary Publisher


I've written that IT folks should strive to communicate with business types in terms they can understand, a bit of advice that is frequently repeated in articles on how to bridge the IT/business divide.


I've also written about instances in which the use of jargon can be a good thing, noting that it saves time and boosts efficiency in the case of industry-specific jargon. (Developers may need to explain service-oriented architecture to their CEO or CFO, but they can assume their peers know plenty about SOA.) Organizational jargon, lingo common to a particular company or group within a company, can help build a sense of community and get organizational concepts across more clearly.


So it's really all about the target audience. Yet a number of tech terms are now mainstream enough to be included in the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, according to the Christian Science Monitor blogger Chris Gaylord. Among them: malware, pretexting and Webinar.


These and other terms are monitored by Merriam-Webster editors and added to the dictionary after they begin showing up regularly online and in print publications with no explanatory clause, explains a fosters.com story. Techies earn a shout-out from John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president and publisher. The story quotes Morse:

There's a kind of collective genius on the part of the people developing this technology, using vocabulary that is immediately accessible to all of us. It's sometimes absolutely poetic.