Technical terminology is the specialized vocabulary of a field. Within each field, terms have one or more specific meanings that are not necessarily the same as those in common use.Industry term. An industry term is a type of technical terminology that has a particular meaning within a specific industry. The phrase implies that a word or phrase is a typical one within a particular industry or business and people within the industry or business will be familiar with and use the term.Technical terminology evolves due to the need for experts in a field to communicate with precision and brevity, but often has the effect of excluding those who are unfamiliar with the particular specialized language of the group. This can cause difficulties as, for example, when a patient is unable to follow the discussions of medical practitioners, and thus cannot understand his own condition and treatment. Differences in jargon also cause difficulties where professionals in related fields use different terms for the same phenomena.
echnical terms can also lead to a great density of prose that is difficult to understand, even for the specialized reader. Observe these four principles when using specialized terminology: Match terminology to the ability of the audience. You may use a term with great accuracy and still not reach your audience. It is important that you be aware of your audience's level of understanding. If they are not experts in your field, you will need to substitute more general terms for your specialized terms. That means that you may not be able to write with great accuracy about your topic.Use terms with consistency. Be sure that you use the same term for a given item each time. If you shift from using mass to using weight in referring to the quantity of an object, if at first you call a tool a spanner and later call it a wrench, or if you shift from the Kelvin scale to Centigrade for measuring temperature, you may confuse the reader.Provide clear definitions or explanations of unfamiliar terms. If you are using a specialized term that is not widely used in your audience, even if the audience is an expert one, be sure you provide a clear definition of your term.Use a terminology list when you are introducing a variety of new terms into your discussion. The use of a list, which is generally placed before your introduction or in an appendix, can greatly aid a reader who wants to remind himself or herself of what you mean by the term.
Effective communication may be defined as the correct transfer of thoughts from the mind of the sender(s) to that (those) of the receiver(s). It requires careful use of any of several tools: verbal or written language; pictorial aids; and above all, mutual understanding of the terms, that is words and their meanings, in the context of the communication.
With general, non-technical communication, the sender can use good academic language and expect that the receiver will understand the meaning. However, when a technical subject is discussed or otherwise communicated, the terminology – words and their meanings – must have more precise definition, especially if the senders and the receivers are sophisticated and knowledgeable in the particular subject. <...>
If we are to communicate effectively with one another, it is obvious that we must have and use terminology standards not only for general use, but also for use in art, science and technology, and the various disciplines within these fields. It is equally clear that the requirements for effective communication impose a formidable task on those who prepare such standards. They must have an excellent command of the language being used; have a well-grounded, broad technical background; and consider the following points:
1) What are we talking about? What are the concepts we are defining?
2) Who are the audience, i.e. the message receivers? Educated laymen ignorant of the particular technology? Students? Vendors of goods and services? People in management? Colleagues in science and technology?
3) Are the terms under consideration adequately defined in existing dictionaries? Can they be used and cited?
4) Have the meanings of the words changed through good common usage or because of increased knowledge?
5) Are there good practices for writing terminology standards?