Jargone

I made a thing.

Jargone is a bookmarklet for highlighting jargon words on any web page.

The list comes from the Government Digital Service GOV.UK style guide, specifically the plain English and words to avoid sections of the guide, which has this to say about avoiding jargon

We lose trust from our users if we write government ‘buzzwords’ and jargon. Often, these words are too general and vague and can lead to misinterpretation or empty, meaningless text. We need to be specific, use plain English and be very clear about what we are doing.

While the guide is very helpful, and includes alternative suggestions for many of the words to avoid, I wanted to be able to spot jargon more easily on the web.

The bookmarklet is very simple. It just adds a bit of CSS styling and javascript to the page and then checks all the words on the page against a list of known jargon words and phrases. Once you run it on a page, offending words are highlighted and, borrowing heavily from the design of Gmail’s handy spellcheck feature, any entries which also have notes associated (suggestions for alternatives, for example) also let you click on them to see the suggestion. It doesn’t (yet) let you replace with a suggestion, mainly because it doesn’t even pretend to be clever enough to get it right. In fact, the implementation is so simple that it’s quite likely to think there’s jargon on a page even if there’s not. For ‘impact’ it gives the advice “Don’t use it as a verb” even when you’ve used it as a verb. It could probably be made a bit cleverer, but as a quick automatic highlighting of things to watch out for, it’s hopefully already quite useful.

Although I based the list on the GDS style guide, I’ve already accepted several contributions from elsewhere. Thanks to everyone who has already contributed.

You can find out more about Jargone or just install it here if you want to try it in your own browser. Enjoy.

4 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too great.

    I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.

    You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep
    it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a wonderful site.

    Comment by diy network — March 10, 2014 #

  2. Wonderful blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or
    go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Dawna — March 14, 2014 #

  3. You need to keep a classy or upscale look, while staying
    within a budget. Convertible models are available that will work
    either as freestanding or under-the-counter.
    A qualified kitchen designer can guide you through
    the process of laying out your kitchen and help you choose
    from the latest trends and accesories.

    Comment by california pizza kitchen houston — April 25, 2014 #

  4. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem
    to be running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something
    to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.

    The design and style look great though! Hope you get
    the problem fixed soon. Cheers

    Comment by interior design kit — May 27, 2014 #

Leave a comment

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Powered by WordPress with GimpStyle Theme design by Horacio Bella.
The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.