Archive for May, 1999

kkk: A Psoft Psi

A couple weeks ago, Fran Poodry asked me what was up with words that start with a silent P, and I had to confess I didn't know. (Such words include pfennig (in the American pronunciation), pneumatic, psalm, words starting with pseud-, psi, psittaform, Psmith, words starting with psych-, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, ptomaine, and so on.) The […]

jjj: Leveraging Core Competencies

The terms "jargon," "argot," "slang," and "cant" all refer to nonstandard language used by particular groups. Loosely speaking, the terms are interchangeable; if I were to make usage distinctions, I would say that "cant" most often refers to criminal slang, "jargon" to technical or professional terms, "argot" to language used only within the given group, […]