RE: News story: GB gov't improves communication standards

Subject: RE: News story: GB gov't improves communication standards
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: <arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 14:04:49 -0400

arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com drew our attention to:

> There has been a Plain English movement in state and federal
> government in the US for some time, so I presumed that Great
> Britain also had a similar policy. Apparently, it's
> relatively new for them to disapprove of unclear legalese.
> Nonetheless, I give them credit for taking these steps:
>
> http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE52H3OH20090318
>
> The flip side, though, is a problem with "banned words." The
> moment we star banning words, we infringe on freedom of
> speech. And, as anyone know knows me knows, that's
> intolerable--in the US, Britain, or anywhere.
>
> Arroxane
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I despise bafflegab as much as anyone, but upon reading the story, I
found that many (most) of the listed usage was just wrong, according to
the quoted plain-English translation of each.

In fact, most of those words, like "best practices", "benchmarking",
etc. are useful when used in their proper context. The problem is almost
always that PHBs and PHWBs think it makes them appear more important or
informed if they just sprinkle such terms with liberal abandon. And then
journalists slavishly follow along, and another wave of sludge washes
over the language.

- Kevin

PHB = Pointy-Haired Boss
PHWB = Pointy-Haired WannaBe












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References:
News story: GB gov't improves communication standards: From: arroxaneullman

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