Saturday, August 24, 2013

The 15 Step Anti-Jargon Programme

The other day I took part in a very enjoyable debate on the subject of jargon organised by the lovely people at Matzine. Along with Dr Crystal Bennes, I was on the anti side of the To Jargon Or Not To Jargon divide. We lost, mostly due to the formidable debating skills of our opponents @daisyfroud and @indyjohar. Despite this, I thought I'd post up what I read out on the night.......

15 Steps To A 100% Jargon Free Life

Getting off jargon isn't easy, but carrying this list with you at all times can really help. It's a handy list of words that you should avoid if at all possible. Try eliminating them from normal conversation first and if you feel confident extend the ban to professional situations such as crits and presentations. 

Remember: these are 'gateway words' that can easily lead to you becoming addicted to meaningless verbiage. It includes words that I use myself. I describe myself as a recovering jargon abuser. But with the help of this list I'm slowly getting better........

1. Space. As in; “This is a really contemporary space”. Translation: I quite like this room.

2. Map/Mapping. As in; “I’ve been mapping this contemporary space”. Translation: I’ve drawn a plan of the room.

3. Programme. Especially when pre-fixed by ‘cross’ as in; “I’m really into cross-programmed space.  This vertical trout farm on Mars* is still a bit boring. Maybe it needs an experimental theatre attached to it".

4. Interrogate. As in; “I think you really need to interrogate this building in section”. Translation: I can’t think of anything else to say in this crit.

5. Problematise. As in; “This upside-down staircase really problematises the concept of vertical circulation".

6. Challenge. As in; "This upside-down staircase really challenges preconceived notions of up and down".

7. Calibrate. As in; “The threshold is carefully calibrated to express a sense of transition from public to private spaces”. Translation: This is the front door.

8. Boundary: As in; “The junction dissolves the boundary between inside and out”. Translation: It’s glass.

9. Blur: As in; “Their work blurs the disciplinary boundaries between art and architecture”. Oh hang on, I think that’s one of mine.

10. Disciplinary: See above.

11. Practice: As in; “Writing is my form of spatial practice”.

12. Praxis: See above, but far worse.

13. Theorise: Example; “Sorry I’m late, I’ve been busy theorising my praxis”. Translation: I’ve been reading my twitter stream.

14. Liminal: As in; “My spatial praxis is very concerned with mapping liminal spaces”. Translation: I live next to an industrial estate”.

15. Territory/Territorialise/De-territorialise: As in; “This is my attempt at de-teretorialising the ideological function of jargon through challenging preconceived notions of language with respect to spatial and theoretical praxis”.


Rob said...

LOL, as they say on the internets. Particularly enjoying praxis - so much so that I'm considering using it for the title of my studio group this year. Feels like it's been under used since it's peak in the late 90s.

Charles Holland said...

Ha, go for it. Praxis makes perfect......