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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jargon (Especially Tech Terms) to Avoid

I love word lists. Lists of words that are easily confused, as an example. David Pogue, who usually writes about tekky stuff, recently listed some of the new tech terms that don't make sense or are so misleading or just plain ugly we writers should avoid them. How I enjoyed it! I thought I'd pass it on to you, of course.

Pay special attention to the trap most everyone is falling into these days. Many of us are using "content" when we probably just mean "articles" or "tips" or "music." So, if you're talking about what is on your Web site, for clarity you'll just want to say what that is. It might go, "You'll find great articles and reviews on the Free Content page on my Website at"

Mmmmm. I think you can see there may be times when the word "content" fits the bill. Like when we're talking about a variety of things that will give our readers valuable information but we can't be all that specific about what that might be because we don't know.

Otherwise, forget "content" or you may hear from David. Maybe you'll hear from me!
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at

1 comment:

Eric Indiana said...

Perhaps my latest list of nonexistent tech terms will help muddy things up:

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