Stockport Council declares war on jargon

The Liberal Democrat run council in Stockport is trying to eliminate pointless jargon. Dizzy Thinks has the story, whilst I breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve only used one of the phrases on the hit list so far this week 🙂

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  • Barry Scott 7th Aug '07 - 1:53pm

    This is an excellent idea. Anything that helps to make Council documents and webpages more accessible to the public can only be a good thing.

    It’s very good to see SMBC thinking outside the box and going forward with this idea. 😉

  • nigelashton 7th Aug '07 - 3:08pm

    Nice to see a Lib Dem council pushing the envelope on this one 🙂

  • I’m all for resizing the vocabulary envelope.

  • Lib Dem Councillor in Southwark refuses to resign after drink driving conviction incurredd drunkenly from Council function. She is a Cabinet member. Council leader has backed her, but should she resign from the Council or from the Cabinet ?

  • Most of these clichéd phrases are managementese, originate in the US (where else?), and I recoil instantly when I encounter them.

    The point about jargon having precise technical meaning is well made.

    To the layman, a “common mistake” is a mistake made frequently. To a lawyer, it is a mistake made by both parties to a contract.

    Used incorrectly, legal jargon can be a menace.

    The worst abuses of language are those inspired by ideology.

    Like the use of “faith” when “religion” is meant – “faith” carrying the unspoken suggestion that adherence to religion is something virtuous and requiring to be shown “respect”.

    One that really does infuriate me is the placing of “lesbians” before “gay men”, the assumption being that men are inherently wicked and should only be tolerated if they refrain from having sex with women. This dates from the days when the lunatic fringe of feminism was indulged by the left, and many gay rights activists were foolhardy enough to find common cause with it.

    Oh, and I cannot resist mention of Comrade Enver Hoxha, one of the worst abusers of language ever to live. Here is his list of the enemies of socialist Albania: “The American imperialists, the Soviet and Chinese social imperialists, Titoite, Euro-Communist and other modern revisionists, the international capitalist bourgeoisie and reaction.”

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