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Exercises

Exercises

  1. Take an inventory of the jargon used in your own area of study, and decide whether it is used intelligently and with purpose. Also decide whether the jargon is particularly germane to the field and therefore makes communication more efficient, or whether it has been appropriated from other fields simply because it is popular. How much of the jargon of your field has been appropriated by or has leaked into the vocabularies of other fields, or perhaps into people's everyday or nonprofessional language?

    Write a short article for a professional newsletter that analyzes the use of diction (particularly jargon) in your field.

  2. As you did in the exercise on passive constructions, go over a recent piece of your own writing, and evaluate your diction. Do any of the terms and uses of terms that we have defined here as “questionable” show up? Can you defend your use of them? If not, change them so that the piece in general becomes clearer and more readable. Using the same piece, do the same for “there is or are,” “in terms of,” and “as far as” constructions.


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