Jargon: is it always bad?

Plain English is one of the foundations of good web writing, and that means death to jargon.

 Jargon: is it always bad?

Of course, we've all heard the stories about cleanliness engineers, holistic governance and -- my personal favourite -- predictors of beaconicity (no, I don't know what it means either). The current crop of Hiscox ads ('It's a spade, not an earth relocating implement') make great play of the company's ability to tell it like it is. In our experience, apart from product managers, no one ever complains that things are being made too simple. However, you could argue that jargon has a function other than to obscure the facts or make people feel that what they do is very important. Jargon makes people feel they belong. When they discover a choice phrase like 'sum insured' they think they're in the right place. But while they may believe the presence of jargon means the writer has an in-depth understanding of their industry, the opposite is likely to be true. It's easy to hide behind jargon when you haven't a clue what you're talking about. However, sometimes there is a difference between jargon and specialised language - words for things that are only used in a very specific context. Where would we be without our H1s, standfirsts, CTAs, break-out quotes and anchor text, for example? Is our jargon OK while no-one else's is? Answers in the designated online communications area below, please.