Friday, October 24, 2008


New York Times technology writer David Pogue recently posted a gentle diatribe against the use of jargon in technology writing.

Here's an extract, which I've redacted edited* to apply to beer writing.

I think a lot about the technical level of the column. Over the years, I’ve adopted a number of tricks that are designed to communicate technical beer points without losing the novices–and one of them is avoiding jargon.

Why tech beer writers use so much jargon, I don’t know. Maybe it’s self-aggrandizement; they want to lord their knowledge over everybody else. Maybe it’s laziness; they can’t be bothered to fish for a plain-English word. Maybe it’s just habit; they spend all day talking shop with other nerds, so they slip into technospeak beerspeak when they write for larger audiences.

Tech Terms to Avoid
New York
David Pogue
October 16, 2008

There's a lot of jargon in the beer world. For example, "ABV" instead of "alcohol" or "It tastes like diacetyl" instead of "It tastes like butter." The list goes on and on.

One silly phrase Pogue lists for the tech community is one that is also overused in articles about the business of beer.
Price point. What are you, paid by the word?
“Price” alone does the job.

And what of the annoying use of the word "product"? As in the tautology, "My company produces a product."

Well, what is your product?


You couldn't have said that in the first place? Flummery!

* This blog is not immune from occasional slips into jargon. YFGF is striving to amend its ways.

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