If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” - Albert Einstein

At I4DI, reflection is a foundation of our culture. Our introspective approach is at the heart of all we do. Every day, we focus on building authentic relationships with organizations, bold thinkers, and ambitious professionals to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges, today. We use research, data science, and technology to help our partners and clients take informed decisions that affect our well-being on this planet. We strive to learn about what works and what doesn’t to adapt our methods. We take our work seriously and are passionate about what we do, but we also know that we cannot take ourselves too seriously.

Looking back at our numerous technical reports and proposals from the past year, we discovered our least interesting all had one thing in common: they were full of development jargon. Every community has a jargon, and ours is no different. However, our use of jargon may prevent our messages from reaching the very people we are trying to help. Here’s our somewhat tongue-in-cheek take on a serious issue that we believe deserves attention. If you are interested in joining our cause, try out The Jargonator and tell us what you think. Download your own copy of our jargon lexicon. Anything we’ve missed? Suggestions for improvement? Contact us using the button on the screen or send us an email at info@i4di.org.

How we generate the statements in The Jargonator is our little secret (shhh), but we will tell you how we turn your text into a score and what it means.


Once you paste text in the input field, The Jargonator processes it by splitting it into words and phrases. The software then focuses on content words, removing prepositions, articles, and modal verbs from the text. The remaining words from your text are then compared with the words in the jargon lexicon.

The score is calculated by the following formula:
  • 100 : totalNoWords = x : noOfWordsFound
  • 100 * noOfWordsFound = totalNoWords * x
  • x = (100 * noOfWordsFound / totalNoWords)
  • The result is then multiplied by 5 to get your final score.
    This is because 20% match is set to be the threshold limit value.

About the score

Simply put, your score is based on the number and type of jargon words used in your text relative to the overall word count.

The Jargonator rates text on a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the harder it is for laymen audience to understand your writing. For most standard technical documents, ideally you want your score to be between 40 and 60. A more than 60, your text is probably not worth reading anyway. A score less than 40 means your aunt Sally probably understands it.