Technical terminology is the specialised vocabulary of a profession or of some other activity to which a group of people dedicate significant parts of their lives (for instance, hobbies). Sometimes technical terminology is termed jargon or terms of art.
Technical terminology exists in a continuum of "formality". Precise technical terms and their definitions are formally recognised, documented, and taught by educators in the field, and are similar to slang. The boundaries between formal and slang jargon, as in general English, are quite fluid, with terms sliding in and out of recognition. The relationship between formal and informal technical vocabularies is discussed in the Jargon File (which is a collection of hacker community slang (with some jargon)).
Technical terminology evolves due to the need for experts in a field to communicate with precision and brevity, and is thus unavoidable and desirable, but this often has the (usually) undesired effect of excluding those who are unfamiliar with the particular specialized language of the group. This can cause difficulties as, for example, when a patient is unable to follow the discussions of medical practitioners, and thus cannot understand their own condition and treatment. It also causes difficulties where professionals in different but related fields use different sets of specialized language and thus cannot understand each other's work - for instance, substantial amounts of duplicated research occur in cognitive psychology and human-computer interaction partly because of such difficulties. However the terms of technical terminology are used to express a great deal of information in a compact form. This makes it possible for professionals to speak to each other without having to exhaustively describe each concept; they can simply use the terms whose defintions are already known in the profession.
The term jargon can, and often does, have pejorative connotations, particularly when aimed at "business culture". The marketing and public relations industries are particularly relevant here, and have made substantial contributions to the ever expanding lexicon of jargon that permeates the global business environment.
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There are a host of issues present in the ever-present field of terminology management including, but not limited to: a lack of clearly defined processes, inconsistent usages of terminology across the field, and decentralized and non-distributed term bases.
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The choice of terminology is considered central by the author, who contrasts the numerous misleading labels generally employed ('restricted code', 'special language', 'microlanguage', 'jargon') to that of 'specialized discourse', which takes account of the more creative and expressive function of this language subsystem.
As for the lexical choices of specialized terms, he recalls the similarity of the strategies employed in the Italian source version and in the English translated version: Galileo invented and introduced new terms in Italian predominantly by means of specialisation processes.
McCloskey attaches special importance to rhetoric devices because he thinks that they can make any argumentation more convincing and also because they are often used unconsciously by many authors who criticise their employment in the language of economics.
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