Jargon Overload

Jargon Overload

Post by David Tamk » Sat, 02 Jun 1990 12:50:00



In volume 10, issue 389, I had responded to two answers to some
questions I'd submitted previously about REN's.

When Tad Cook left me still wondering something, I wrote,

DT> That question has been slid on past throughout this discussion under
DT> the assumption that everyone must already know.

but I still didn't know; and when Julian Macassey said,

JM> I think I covered this in an earlier posting, but then I could have
JM> glossed over it.

I responded that maybe he did cover it earlier, but when something is
stated in a way a non-techie cannot follow or is to be found so deep
in a technical discussion that a non-techie will have given up reading
it before getting to that part, it will reach only the other techies.

I asked,

DT> All you experts, please be tolerant if we ask for a re-explanation of
DT> something in more common terms or if we don't realize that a question
DT> is equivalent to one posed previously in thick jargon.

Later in that same issue, Isaac Rabinovitch wrote,

IR> My lack of experience in the telecom world leaves me without the
IR> vocabulary to follow many of the interesting and important discussions
IR> in this conference.  Could somebody post a lexicon for the benefit of
IR> folks like me?

Pat Townson replied:

PT> It would seem to me [that Isaac and David] have similar complaints,
PT> and the answer for both may be to obtain copies of the glossary files
PT> in the Telecom Archives.  Look for the file entitled
PT> 'phrack.glossary'.

Providing definitions of the words and expansions of the acronyms
cannot guarantee that everyone will understand the complete idea.  In
the questions I asked that led up to that submission and in the
earlier articles that lost me, the problems were the concepts and
assumptions, not the words or acronyms.  I knew the words but the
phrasing was ambiguous to my untrained eyes.  As a result, I couldn't
understand the answers as they were given.  When I asked again, people
repeated the same murky language.  That didn't help.

Finally (in one case very deep in other things I still couldn't
follow) the answers arrived: (1) the frequency of a voltage meant the
frequency at which the current is alternated; (2) REN's measure the
line load for a device to detect an incoming ring signal, not the line
load for its ringer to give out a sound, and therefore shutting the
sounding mechanism off doesn't remove the device's REN load; (3) the
REN limit of 5.0 per line is not a law and some lines can bear 6 or 7
REN's before ringer volume begins to weaken.  Even at that, #1 and #2
came in only when I guessed them, asked whether that was what the
writers meant, and was told yes.

Pat's answer (pun unintended, but what the hell) applies to Isaac's
problem but not really to mine.  Both in TELECOM Digest and in comp.
dcom.telecom, this forum is presented as a written medium.  If we
don't comprehend something, we can reread it until we've seen all the
words a dozen times.  If we still don't understand it, then the words
need to be *replaced*, not repeated as if this were a spoken medium
and perhaps we simply didn't hear you clearly the first time.

So when someone doesn't follow the engineering or telephony jargon and
asks for a re-explanation, it does no good to reuse the same type of
phrasing that didn't get the point across the first time, nor does it
help to fill the response with so much additional technical language
that the answer, no matter how easy to read by itself, is drowned out
by the new flood of jargon.  At least please answer the question first
(in different terms!) and *then* add the other highly technical
thoughts that it brought to mind and which you'd like to say now.

In the future, I'll try to make my requests for explanations multiple
choice instead of essay if I can and, when I need something restated,
to emphasize that I need it rephrased, not repeated.

PT> The Telecom Archives are FTP accessible at lcs.mit.edu, using
PT> anonymous login.

 ... or, for those of us without FTP access, through the BITFTP mail
server at Princeton.

David Tamkin  P. O. Box 7002  Des Plaines IL  60018-7002  +1 708 518 6769
MCI Mail: 426-1818   CIS: 73720,1570   GEnie: D.W.TAMKIN  +1 312 693 0591

 
 
 

Jargon Overload

Post by Steve Wolfs » Thu, 07 Jun 1990 00:20:59



>PT> It would seem to me [that Isaac and David] have similar complaints,
>PT> and the answer for both may be to obtain copies of the glossary files
>PT> in the Telecom Archives.  Look for the file entitled
>PT> 'phrack.glossary'.
>Providing definitions of the words and expansions of the acronyms
>cannot guarantee that everyone will understand the complete idea.  In
>the questions I asked that led up to that submission and in the
>earlier articles that lost me, the problems were the concepts and
>assumptions, not the words or acronyms.  I knew the words but the
>phrasing was ambiguous to my untrained eyes.  As a result, I couldn't
>understand the answers as they were given.  When I asked again, people
>repeated the same murky language.  That didn't help.

        Help is here (sort of) from AT&T.  I just received a mailing
from AT&T Business Communications Services for the following classes:

        VOICE COMMUNICATIONS I:

An Analysis of Voice Services and Applications     Course Code 26A

Audience: Communications managers, network adminstrators or
communications analaysts/specialists.

Topics:
        Communications Equipment (Key, PBX, Centrex, ACD)

        Local and long distance service
        (industry structure, jurisdiction, equal access, rate structure
         comparisons)

        Communications Services
        (WATS, 800, foreign exchange [FX], tie lines/trunks, off premises
         stations, remote call forwarding [RCF],T1.5)

        Networks
        (premises bases, enhanced private switched communications service,
         software defined network)

        Communications media (microwave, twisted pair, coaxial cable,
        fiber optics, satellite)

Fee: $1195 for a 4 day class.

Two other classes Data Communications I and II.  Cover more lower
level network type stuff.  Cost/length is the same.

The number listed for more info: 1 800 TRAINER (1 800 872-4637)

 
 
 

1. Jargon Overload! (Not a Flame!)

ARRRGH!

Sorry.  I'm not criticising Mr. Burke.  His language is part of his
expertise, after all.  But my lack of experience in the telecom world
leaves me without the vocabulary to follow many of the interesting and
important discussions in this conference.  I have *no* idea what a
DID, an NPA or a CLASS is (though I suspect they are vorpal and
puissant entities).  Could somebody post a lexicon for the benefit of
folks like me?

Please note that I'm *not* criticizing anybody's writing style.

[Moderator's Note: It would seem to me David Tamkin and yourself have
similar complaints, and the answer for both of you may be to obtain
copies of the glossary files in the Telecom Archives. Look for the
file entitled 'phrack.glossary'. The Telecom Archives is FTP
accessible at lcs.mit.edu, using anonymous login.  PT]

2. chroot BIND 8.2.2p5

3. Cryptic Modem Jargon

4. PCI/C44 DSP board

5. Holy Change Agent! Consultants Edit Out Jargon

6. Digital Camcorder

7. When Technical Jargon Requires Hyphens

8. TCPIP throuput for a VAXstation 3100

9. Jargon Dictionary Wanted

10. The Jargon File on Bugs (was Cord Board Anecdote)

11. The Jargon File

12. Voice Line Signalling Jargon