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    Terminology in Technical Communications

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    Effective communication is the correct transfer of thoughts between persons. It requires careful use of tools of communication and mutual understanding of the terms used. In turn, this leads to the need for good terminology standards and knowledge of the language by both sender and receiver. In technical subjects terminology must be more precisely defined, particularly among communicators highly knowledgeable in the subject(s). However, this must not be extended to the point where meanings are known only to a select few. Preparers of terminology standards are faced with difficult tasks. They must be well educated both generally and technically, know the language very well, and consider not only the concept of what is being defined, but also the knowledge of the readers. Additionally, they must use good practices in writing definitions and keep up with changes in word meanings. Some problems in terminology standards are cited and discussed relative to their effects in impeding good communications. A set of criteria for solving these problems is proposed and briefly discussed.


    terminology, communications, technical communications, terminology standards, definitions, concepts, coordination of terminology, criteria for terminology standards

    Author Information:

    Gaskill, JR
    Consulting engineer, Livermore, CA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E02.10

    DOI: 10.1520/STP30138S