Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The De-jargonizer – a tool for communicating science clearly

Recently I saw a brief article about a computer program called the De-jargonizer for identifying jargon. Details are described in a magazine article by Tzipora Rakedzon, Elad Segev, Noam Chapnik, Roy Yosef and Ayelet Baram-Tsaba titled Automatic jargon identifier for scientists engaging with the public and science communication educators which appeared in PLOS ONE in February 2017.  

I tried it out on the ending of a speech by President Donald Trump on tax reform from August 30, 2017 with the results shown above. Program instructions say:

“Results are displayed both by color and by percentage. Words in black are common words, words in orange are mid-frequency words, and words in red are jargon. The table on the right presents the number of words in the text and the results: the number of words and the percentage of words for each frequency (high, mid and jargon).”

This isn’t the only tool. Back on September 21, 2013 I blogged about Funneling your big ideas through a small vocabulary and discussed the Up-Goer Five Text Editor.

The illustration really shows a wool picker from an old Scientific American magazine.

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