11 May 2009

Jargon and the Local Government Association

Finally, someone in local government (no such wisdom in central government yet!) has decided that the unthinking use of jargon is not a good idea. The Local Government Association has come up with a list of words that it thinks ought not to be used.

Wonderful! Among the words are some of my pet hates, such as 'stakeholder' - which actually means someone who holds the money for parties to a wager - the LGA suggests 'other organizations' will do, but I think that there are alternatives, depending upon what is actually meant - assuming, of course, that the writer has something particular in mind when using the term. 'Typology' gets kicked out, with the comment, 'Why use at all?' - but 'classification' will serve just as well.

'Why use at all?' is attached to many terms, e.g., Mainstreaming, Management capacity, Network model, Overarching, Pathfinder, Peer challenge, Performance Network, Pooled risk and more. No doubt the managers in local government are now desperately trying to find copy-editors to peruse their texts to eliminate these and other words.

But what happens if nothing is left? :-)

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