Bah. There are a number of reasons that his objection is without merit. For big huge starters, there is no instance in the history of the spoken word of anyone talking the population at large out of using some construction or word. You can kind of convince some subset of people who are insecure or status-conscious about their language to change their ways, but you’ll never get the majority to even pay attention and understand your issue, let alone do something about it.
Second, yeah, the language does evolve, yeah, maybe (or maybe not) there is an existing word that does the job. Apparently enough people didn’t know that, tho, so a new word has arisen. The history of English is riddled with words that were bent to new uses, or new words that substituted for perfectly ok existing words. That’s the way it works. We could all wear jeans and t-shirts, as they’re perfectly servicable, but nope, every few years a new fashion sweeps over us.
Anyway canonize != canonicalize.
“Performant” is not a good term, but not because it’s a neologism using -ant. It’s because the word isn’t particularly precise; in fact, it’s anti-precise. If a program is performant, is it … fast? memory-efficient? If it’s those things, use those terms, coz they say something specific, eh?
The final issue with jargon is that it is in fact a marker of inclusion and exclusion within a group. A person might think this is a bad thing, but it’s a sociolinguistic fact of life. If you’re a snowboarder, you use some sort of mutant snowboarder lingo. The point is not, in fact, to communicate with your grandmother about the wonderful experiences you have whilst snowboarding. No, it’s to communicate with your snowboarding homies and to show that you are part of that subculture.
Granted, the moron who doesn’t know when to turn off the jargon is clueless, but so is the guy who wears jeans to the opera, sez me. And some article in MSDN ain’t gonna cure him.
Bet you saw this one coming, huh?
As you know, I know whereof I speak – I spend every working day rasslin’ with these sorts of issues. It’s an interesting balancing act. We nix “performant” pretty much all the time. But “instantiate” used to make editor types blanch, but no more; ditto “to persist to disk” and “to migrate an application,” and heck, “data” as a singular noun. At some point jargon becomes well-enough understood that it’s not jargon per se, simply the vocabulary of a specific profession. But there’s firm line, and one man’s shorthand terms are another man’s jargon.