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Jargon or technical language is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The context is usually a particular occupation (that is, a certain trade, profession, vernacular or academic field), but any ingroup can have jargon. The key characteristic that distinguishes jargon from the rest of a language is its specialized vocabulary, which includes terms and definitions of words that are unique to the context, and terms used in a narrower and more exact sense than when used in colloquial language. This can lead outgroups to misunderstand communication attempts. Jargon is sometimes understood as a form of technical slang and then distinguished from the official terminology used in a particular field of activity.
The terms jargon, slang, and argot are not consistently differentiated in the literature; different authors interpret these concepts in varying ways. According to one definition, jargon differs from slang in being secretive in nature; according to another understanding, it is specifically associated with professional and technical circles. Some sources, however, treat these terms as synonymous. The use of jargon became more popular around the sixteenth century attracting persons from different career paths. This led to there being printed copies available on the various forms of jargon.
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