Ben Casnocha on the allusion game:

 I think Tyler Cowen once said that he sometimes uses fancy economic terms on his blog without defining them because it creates an aspirational effect for the portion of his readers who are not professionally trained economists. When you use a term and do not define it or even link to Wikipedia, it signals to readers that you assume they know the meaning. It gives them an opportunity to elevate themselves. Essentially, he’s giving outsiders the opportunity to feel like insiders–once they brush up on their econ knowledge.

I think this is true in a much broader sense: I love reading stories where there are words, concepts and ideas that I’m not familiar with, then going and figuring out what they are. Links help. Sometimes when we journalists are shooting for the lowest common denominator—or at least a moderately more common denominator—it is a mistake. Let’s give our readers more credit for their intellectual curiosity and willingness to confront the unfamiliar.


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