Ben Lowndes #viewsoncomms

A perspective on PR, development and life in the South West

‘Jargon bin’ awaits for nonsense phrases

A random early morning tweet today has found its way onto a dubious list of bad language. Not swearwords: a ‘jargon bin’ full of corporate nonsense, invented by specialists but used and understood by few people outside their immediate circle.

I should point out that it was not my jargon or even my use of it that was being highlighted. I hate jargon and have cringed at times as it is used to bludgeon a clear message. I was innocently tweeting the contents of an email I received via the Government Communications Network, which asked members whether they had an Employee Value Proposition (their caps).

Soon after, it was retweeted by the great guys at We Love Local Government and picked up by Jargon Bin creator Roger White of HelpGov, who included it on his blog and took the trouble to explain it to me.

Having read his list of jargon horrors, there are some beauties on there: early years practitioners, or people who look after young kids; mentee, which sounds like a brand of mint but is actually someone who is mentored. I’m sorry to say, also, that I use some of the terms on White’s list (‘green light’, instead of approval or support, being the most common).

Even after having the legendary EVP explained to me, though, I still don’t get it. That is surely as bad as communication can be when you are using the same language as someone who is spouting jargon at you. I’m grateful to Roger for trying and including it on his ‘list of shame’ anyway. The person who mentioned it on GCN knows who they are…

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