Finally, someone in the public sector has broken ranks and declared war on jargon. Too bad it was the Local Government Association and not Number 10. Still, somebody had to do it.
Baffled by babble, weary of waffle, jaded by jargon and galled by gobbledegook, the LGA has declared 200 words and phrases to be the enemies of clear communication. It’s not the end of weasel words as we know them, but it’s a good start.
All true lovers of language will find it hard not to have a sneaking regard for the sheer ingenuity – and disingenuity – behind some of them. Shoot me if you ever catch me using:
- Direction of travel
- Going forward
- Horizon scanning
- Improvement levers
- Predictors of Beaconicity
- Step change
You often find that the cleverest person in the room is the first one willing to admit that they don’t understand what someone else is saying. They know that, if they don’t understand it, the chances are that no one else does either. Perhaps we should all be that person more often, and speak up against language that fails to achieve its primary purpose: communication.