Thanks – I think we agree more than not. Here’s one small point:

> You wrote:
>
> Metadata has a precise denotation of data about data and an
> equally precise connotation that under most circumstances such data
> is inert, it should not alter the normal function of an application one
> way or another.

You’ve helped me clarify my point with this. I agree that metadata has a precise meaning. My opinion, and complaint, is few people who use the word are using it with precision. Instead they use it to feign precision – they want to sound like they are saying more than they are. And that is my problem with jargon. In fact to me I would only say the word metadata is jargon when it is used imprecisely, or to create the pretense.

Simply asking “What do you mean by that?” goes a long way. But when people are faced with an engineer who constantly throws out acronyms or esoteric words, and uses them to intimidate, something that occurs often in tech circles, it makes asking for clarification seem like an act of weakness. Rather than, as you say, a way for a team to develop shared definitions of words that do accelerate progress.