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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Banned Words in Fun Stuff; Thought this was aprils fools but looking at date it is not. The full list of 'banned jargon' words - ...
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    russdev's Avatar
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    Banned Words

    Thought this was aprils fools but looking at date it is not.

    The full list of 'banned jargon' words - 17/03/2009 - Contract Journal

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    Nope, its quite serious. I heard about it at the time the report originally went out.

    A lot more sensible than it sounds really. Alternatives are offered for most phrases. Some are just noted as to why they should ever be used.

    The idea is to make it a lot easier to read all those council announcements.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I can understand why some are banned ... but some phrases have to be used.

    Imagine an ed psych talking about processing information and no longer being able to use the terms of top-down and bottom-up ... being unable to talk about links with RBNIB as talking about 'vision' is banned ... so we are now talking about dealing with ocular impairments and deficiencies!

    Engagement ... no more congratulating colleagues on their plans to tie the knot!

    It gets worse.

    Let's face it ... some of the language is stupid and unclear, but it is manglement speak ... I would not expect everyone to understand legalese, edulish, geek or doctorin' so the problem is that the documents that have these words in are made public and are confusing.

    How about plain english versions instead for lay-people where required. If it is not required then what is the problem.

    I can no longer talk about the National Strategy with other folks in the LA, can't quote chunks of DCSF or Govt papers and this is only the start ... next will be Geek!

    Imagine not being able to talk about packets (hmm ... fancy a foil bag of crisps?), headers (that passing of the football to John Terry by Steve Gerrard where the cranium was used was fantastic), port (pass me the overpriced, Portugese fortified wine, please) or deployment (So General, we had better sort out what pretty patterns the soldiers are going to make when they go out to play).

    Still ... I will no longer have to worry about trying to synergise my opportunites to have face-to-face time with co-developers of solutions (check my diary to sort out meeting folk who are working on the same stuff as me!)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok, just a few words I can't understand being on the list:


    Agencies
    Ambassador
    Benchmarking
    Best Practice
    Capabilities
    Capacity
    Cautiously welcome
    Collaboration
    Commissioning
    Compact
    Consensual
    Contextual
    Customer

    And that's only A-C!!! All of those words are normal, everyday English words. Nothing complex, nothing that requires a degree in English Language. What, for example, are we supposed to say instead of 'Customer'? 'Consumer of resources and services'? Or Benchmarking? 'Analysing for statistical analysis'?

    If someone doesn't understand those words then that is their fault, not the people using them. Yes, I may sound like a snob but being able to speak and read the language of the country is pretty important. This makes me so tumultuous and convulsed!!!
    Last edited by localzuk; 2nd April 2009 at 08:39 AM. Reason: calmer, after a nights sleep

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    I think it's a good idea - too many people think they are important just becuase they use fancy management type terms & long words. When people start to talk to me like that I inform them [ politely ] they sound stupid & I won't listen to any more unless they start to talk in the correct manner. If they carry on I again remind them of what I have just said [ this happens quite a bit as for some reason morons who speak like this cannot stop themselves ] & I walk off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    How about plain english versions instead for lay-people where required. If it is not required then what is the problem.
    This is actually what's been done, but for some reason they've been left off on this. I guess it just doesn't make as good a story when someone's suggesting replacing management jargon with plain English in council publications to their constituents, as when someone's outright banning management jargon across the board.

    Still ... I will no longer have to worry about trying to synergise my opportunites to have face-to-face time with co-developers of solutions (check my diary to sort out meeting folk who are working on the same stuff as me!)
    Oh you will, but you'll have to phrase it the second way rather than the first.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok, so, i've been having a think about the list, and the word 'Guidelines' is on there... What sensible alternative could be used for that? There is absolutely nothing 'management speak' about it. It is a normal word!

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, so, i've been having a think about the list, and the word 'Guidelines' is on there... What sensible alternative could be used for that? There is absolutely nothing 'management speak' about it. It is a normal word!
    Suggestions maybe?

    They don't have the authority to outright ban words, despite what many of the news stories about this seem to be saying. Their list has reasonable replacements for a lot of the words (except in some cases, where the question was why the word would need to be used in the first place), and they're basing it on the fact that they've had a lot of complaints from people receiving bulletins, announcements and similar which are management gibberish. Or from people who have hunted for information and discovered that impermeable language is a much more effective defense than putting it in the cellar, then removing the lights and the stairs.

    I'm all for it myself. In a business, fine, but I certainly have sympathy with those who don't want to be dealing with another language when trying to research public services.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Suggestions maybe?

    They don't have the authority to outright ban words, despite what many of the news stories about this seem to be saying. Their list has reasonable replacements for a lot of the words (except in some cases, where the question was why the word would need to be used in the first place), and they're basing it on the fact that they've had a lot of complaints from people receiving bulletins, announcements and similar which are management gibberish. Or from people who have hunted for information and discovered that impermeable language is a much more effective defense than putting it in the cellar, then removing the lights and the stairs.

    I'm all for it myself. In a business, fine, but I certainly have sympathy with those who don't want to be dealing with another language when trying to research public services.
    I'm all for banning the junk management words that are used too. 'Synergise' for example is nonsense. But words such as guidelines have no reasonable synonyms that mean the same thing. Your idea of 'suggestions' is not strong enough, as a guideline is not a suggestion. It is somewhere in between a suggestion and a rule.

    My complaint is that the exercise of removing nonsense from our local government has been used as an excuse to remove any words with more than 2 syllables... Or should I have said 'task' instead of 'exercise'? Or is 'task' too complex too? Should I have said 'thing'?

    Once you start calling for people to not use large words because they confuse people, you lose the ability to be very specific with what you're saying. Things become more vague, and then people complain that they are being fobbed off with lame information.

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    [QUOTE=localzuk;313825 IIf someone doesn't understand those words then that is their fault, not the people using them. Yes, I may sound like a snob but being able to speak and read the language of the country is pretty important. This makes me so tumultuous and convulsed!!![/QUOTE]

    Yup, there's a bunch of annoying annoying, overused and unnecessary words and phrases on there ("early win" etc), but sweeping aside perfectly usable terms because they might be "hard to understand" is idiotic.

    <soapbox>
    Government initiatives targetted at language use should be aimed at improving use and knowledge of the language by everyone, not restricting communication to only that which is understood by the lowest common denominator.
    </soapbox>

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