Jargon Construction

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How Jargon Works

Jargon Construction

There are some standard methods of jargonification that became established quite early (i.e., before 1970), spreading from such sources as the Tech Model Railroad Club, the PDP-1 SPACEWAR hackers, and John McCarthy's original crew of LISPers. These include verb doubling, soundalike slang, the `-P' convention, overgeneralization, spoken inarticulations, and anthropomorphization. Each is discussed below. We also cover the standard comparatives for design quality.

Of these six, verb doubling, overgeneralization, anthropomorphization, and (especially) spoken inarticulations have become quite general; but soundalike slang is still largely confined to MIT and other large universities, and the `-P' convention is found only where LISPers flourish.

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Verb Doubling Doubling a verb may change its semantics
Soundalike Slang Punning jargon
The -P convention A LISPy way to form questions
Overgeneralization Standard abuses of grammar
Spoken Inarticulations Sighing and <*sigh*>ing
Anthropomorphization Homunculi, daemons, and confused programs
Comparatives Standard comparatives for design quality


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