Thursday, 13 December 2007

Mind your language

11 December 2007 was National Plain English Day, and to mark the occasion, the Local Government Association (LGA) published a list of 100 words that public bodies should not use if they want to communicate effectively with local people.

Apparently unless councils talk to residents in a language that they can understand, then the work they do becomes inaccessible and reduces the chances of people getting involved in their local issues. That's telling us, oh yes indeed.

Below is the full list, in alphabetical order, of the LGA's top 100 banned words.

1. ambassador
2. agencies
3. beacon
4. best practice
5. bottom-up
6. CAAs
7. can do culture
8. capacity
9. capacity building
10. cascading
11. cautiously welcome
12. champion
13. citizen empowerment
14. community engagement
15. conditionality
16. consensual
17. contestability
18. core message
19. core value
20. coterminosity
21. coterminous
22. cross-cutting
23. customer
24. democratic mandate/legitimacy
25. distorts spending priorities
26. early win
27. empowerment
28. engagement
29. engaging users
30. enhance
31. evidence base
32. external challenge
33. facilitate
34. fast-track
35. flexibilities and freedoms
36. framework
37. fulcrum
38. good practice
39. governance
40. guidelines
41. holistic
42. holistic governance
43. improvement levers
44. incentivising
45. income/funding streams
46. initiative
47. joined up
48. joint working
49. LAAs
50. level playing field
51. localities
52. meaningful consultation/dialogue
53. MAAs
54. menu of options
55. multi-agency
56. multidisciplinary
57. outcomes
58. output
59. participatory
60. partnerships
61. pathfinder
62. peer challenge
63. performance network
64. place shaping
65. predictors of beaconicity
66. preventative services
67. priority
68. process driven
69. quick hit
70. quick win
71. resource allocation
72. revenue streams
73. risk based
74. scaled-back
75. scoping
76. seedbed
77. service users
78. shared priority
79. signpost
80. single point of contact
81. slippage
82. social contracts
83. stakeholder
84. step change
85. strategic/overarching
86. streamlined
87. subsidiary
88. sustainable
89. sustainable communities
90. symposium
91. synergies
92. tested for soundness
93. third sector
94. top-down
95. transformational
96. transparency
97. value-added
98. vision
99. visionary
100. welcome

Now I am all for inclusive language so I will be trying very hard to avoid any of the above words, so as to help the public, god love 'em.

However there are other words, worse words, which should be banned. I would like to introduce you to the words I have banned my team from using. You'll see a pattern I'm sure, and agree the world would be a better place if everyone followed our example.

Baps, Climax, Discharge, Deposit, Engorged, Evacuate, Excretion, Express, Flap, Finger, Fluid, Glistening, Juices, Lubricate/lubricant/lubrication, Matter, Member, Mess, Moist, Motion, Movement, Ooze, Organ, Opening, Pass, Passage, Pastry, Penetrate, Procedure, Pucker, Relief/Relieve, Secrete, Seepage, Slippage, Soil, Spread, Stool, Straddle, Stroke, Swollen, Tug, Wipe, Withdrawal.

Toodles

WHG III

1 comment:

Nyx said...

Good for people to know.