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Rebaselining the Taxonomy of Synergies

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Sometimes one is forced to consider the possibility that affairs are being conducted in a manner which, all things being considered and making all possible allowances is, not to put too fine a point on it, perhaps not entirely straightforward.

Sir Humphrey Appleby, “Yes, Minister

If you had a hard time understanding any of that, you’re in good company. The Local Government Association, a UK lobbying group based in the administrative area of Whitehall in London, has published a list of 200  words and phrases that it says are making it difficult for ordinary people to understand what services and help are available to them. The Chairman of the Local Government Association, Councillor Margaret Eaton, said:

The public sector must not hide behind impenetrable jargon and phrases. Why do we have to have ‘coterminous, stakeholder engagement’ when we could just ‘talk to people’ instead?

Among the changes they suggest are using IMPROVE for ENHANCE, CHOICES instead of MENU OF OPTIONS and the more understandable UNEMPLOYMENT for WORKLESSNESS. Not surprisingly, words such as REBASELINING, TAXONOMY and SYNERGIES should be eliminated completely, according to the LGA.

You can find the full list of “offensive” words at the LGA website. Perhaps as an exercise, you could check how many of the phrases have an equivalent in your language, maybe even used in your company! 😉

Strange Random Language Fact:

Seoul, the South Korean capital, just means “the capital” in the Korean language.

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  1. December 4, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Interesting the information about the substantive “Seoul”

  2. December 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    In fact, Vall d’Aran (north of Spain) means Valley of Valley because “aran” is “valley” in Aranes languaje.

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