“Jargon makes the patient feel stupid.”

This was a quote from one of our Cedarville nursing professors that actually made it onto the back of our class t-shirt–along with a list of the most difficult medical terms we could find. Including this one: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

I.e., Lung disease from volcano dust.

Big words are great. They actually are summaries of even longer things like sentences and paragraphs. Every field of specialized knowledge uses big words to summarize bigger thoughts. It makes communication easier within the field.

Within the field. That means, to the rest of us who are outside your field, that you need to be careful to translate yourself. Otherwise we won’t know what you are saying. And that can make us feel stupid.

If you need to use a big word, great! Teach it to me. I’d love to know more about your world.