Sociolinguistics


Jargon: Two Examples

(1) Legalese

Legalese is a term referring to the register of the legal profession. Appropriate in the field of law, legal language or jargon is characterized by particular, register-specific grammatical and semantic features. (See Grammatical Markers and Semantic Markers for more information on the typical features of legalese).

The following passage gives a first impression of the linguistic nature of legalese:

Upon request of Borrower, Lender, at Lenderís option prior to full reconveyance of the Property by Trustee to Borrower, may make Future Advances to Borrower. Such Future Advances, with interest thereon, shall be secured by this Deed of Trust when evidenced by promissory notes stating that said notes are secured hereby.

(Source: Finegan, 2004: 341)


(2) Medical Jargon

Medical jargon characteristically features Latin and Greek-based words and expressions and particular medical abbreviations which are often incomprehensible for outsiders. The picture on the right, for example, illustrates the names for the parts of the human skeleton. Clearly, some bones have the same names in both medical jargon and everyday terminology.

(See also Semantic Markers)

(Source of picture: A.S. Hornby et al.(eds.). (2005). Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (7th ed.). Oxford et al.: Oxford University Press/Berlin: Cornelsen).