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Jargon is the verbal sleight of hand that makes the old hat seem newly fashionable; it gives an air of novelty and specious profundity to ideas that, if stated directly, would seem superficial, stale, frivolous, or false. The line between serious and spurious scholarship is an easy one to blur, with jargon on your side.

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A bit about David Lehman ...

David Lehman (born 1948) is the series editor for The Best American Poetry book series and a poet.

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