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Neither a Customer nor a Client or a Stakeholder be .....

The UK Local Government Association has compiled a banned list of the 200 worst uses of jargon, with "coterminosity" & "predictors of beaconicity" prominent in most press reports.

The Council Leaders say such words and phrases must be avoided for staff to "communicate effectively". The list includes suggested translations of some terms, such as "delay" for "slippage" and "buy" for "procure", but for most, though, no alternative is forthcoming or perhaps even possible?

What can you substitute for "Benchmarking" – its not (as has been suggested) the same as "measuring".

I took a look through the list and lifted a few words that I do routinely rely upon within my own line of work – whilst those who've met me know me know full well I like plain English, and the plainer the better – I found some words on the proscribed list that even I would struggle to do without :

Benchmarking, Best Practice, Challenge, Champion, Client, Collaboration, Consensus, Core-anything – like 'principles' or 'values'), Customer, Dialogue, Downstream, Enhance, Framework, Good Practice, Governance, Guidelines, Indicators, Initiative, Interface, Joined up, Meaningful consultation, Meaningful dialogue [so is it OK to have meaningless consultation or dialogue?], Outcomes, Output, Outsourced, Parameter, Partnerships, Prioritisation, Priority, Proactive, Quick hit, Quick win, Single point of contact, Stakeholder, Strategic, Streamlined, Upstream,  Value-added, Vision, Visionary.

So they can still think of you as an Illegal Immigrant or Juvenile Delinquent, but they can't think of you as a Client, Customer, Partner or Stakeholder - no wonder they ignore the "Citizens" - oh I forgot to say you can't use that word either - but you can still be a "Taxpayer" - so that's all right then. Though I'd like to tell the Taxman I can't pay my "Value-Added" Tax?

Maybe we do still need to "Think out of the box"?

The complete list is available here




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Keith Appleyard

Keith Appleyard

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17 Aug 2007



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