Jargon is the term for specialized or technical language that is only understood by those who are members of a group or who perform a specific trade. For example, the legal profession has many terms that are considered jargon, or terms that only lawyers and judges use frequently.
Writers sometimes use jargon to appeal to a specific group, or to embed a hidden meaning behind their writing that only certain groups would understand. Jargon is also used as a method of characterization. When characters use jargon it tells us something about that character and his/her interests and profession.
1. I need a script in order to pick up the medicine. (medical jargon for "prescription")
2. I need a nurse to room 12 stat. (medical jargon for "in a hurry")
3. Your objection is overruled. (legal jargon)
4. We need to take data points to determine if there has been a response to the intervention. (educational jargon)
5. The suspect is headed west on Route 10. All available units, respond. (police jargon)
Examples of Jargon in Literature
From Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried On an afternoon in 1969 the platoon took sniper fire . . . It only lasted a minute or two and nobody was hurt, but even so Lieutenant Jimmy Cross got on the radio and ordered an air strike.
From Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird All the spectators were as relaxed as Judge Taylor, except Jem. His mouth was twisted into a purposeful half-grin, and his eyes happy about, and he said something bout corroborating evidence, which made me sure he was showing off.
From Shakespeare's Hamlet
Why, may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this mad knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will scarcely lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?