Chapter 4 - Section 4a10: Jargon
Jargon includes two categories of words that you should avoid. The first is the specialized vocabulary of a particular group, such as doctors, lawyers, or baseball coaches. Second is the overly inflated or complex language that burdens many student essays. You will not impress anyone with big words that do not fit the tone or context of your essay, especially if you misuse them.
If you are not certain of a word's meaning or appropriateness, leave it out. An appropriate word, even a simple one, will add impact to your argument. Ask yourself, "Would a reader in a different field be able to understand exactly what I mean from the words I've chosen?" "Is there any way that I can say the same thing more simply?"
MBA candidates are particularly prone
to using MBA jargon. When you go to business school, you will find
that MBAs have a language of their own with words such as "incentivize"
or "M & A". Indeed, you will find that a large part
of the lasting benefit of business school is learning the proper
MBA language to help you better relate to the MBAs who dominate
the business world. For now, however, the GMAT is not the place
for MBA jargon or any jargon for that matter.
Your essay graders may not be up to
date on the latest trendy abbreviations. Also avoid lazy and sloppy
statements like "top-line/bottom line". Slashes and numbered
items are completely inappropriate. You are not making a business
presentation or writing a marketing plan; you are writing a formal
essay to graders, many of whom were English
majors. Graders are quickly annoyed by trite phrases.
Evaluate the following sentences for jargon.
1. With reference to the poem, I submit that the second and third stanzas connote a certain despair.
2. Allow me to elucidate my position: This horse is the epitome, the very quintessence of equine excellence.
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