Monday, November 29, 2010

Plain, Simple Language

FLG is in favor of plain, simple language. So, he greets the announcement that some people in the UK are fighting back against meaningless and confusing jargon with glee:
Pompous words such as "facilitate" and "utilise" should be replaced by their shorter, more common versions "help" and "use", the council has said.

Meaningless phrases such as "close proximity" and "forward planning" should be shelved, while the phrase that has become ubiquitous over the last decade – "stakeholder engagement" – should be replaced with the far more straightforward "talking to people".

Bravo, but it gets better:
Dressing up policies and documents with long words and jargon frequently hides the fact that the local council officers do no understand what they are saying, it added.


It urges active rather than passive sentences such as please tell us instead of you are requested.

God bless them.

Unfortunately, FLG fears this progress in his war on meaningless, confusing bullshit writing comes at the price of his quest to defend Latin. Perhaps FLG's readers will remember this story:
A number of local councils in Britain have banned their staff from using Latin words, because they say they might confuse people.

Several local authorities have ruled that phrases like "vice versa", "pro rata", and even "via" should not be used, in speech or in writing.


Anonymous said...


Mrs. P

FLG said...

I chuckled throughout, but I completely lost it when he said, "Do you mean anal sex?"

Anonymous said...

Me too.

Mrs. P

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