In my old office in the Manitoba Legislature, a colleague and I used to keep a running list of words and phrases we really wished politicians and bureaucrats would stop using.
They included things such as go-forward basis, stakeholders and community-level.
Words and phrases which are so boring and devoid of meaning they can induce a sudden nap just by their very utterance.
They were usually gleaned from news releases and press conferences and added to the list in fits of frustration as we tried to turn bureaucrat-speak into stories people might find interesting.
In journalism we’re taught to use the simplest words possible, and not take six words to say what you could say in just one. It often seems politicians and bureaucrats are given the opposite orders. Crowd them with meaningless jargon, bore them to tears and maybe they won’t notice that we just overspent our budget by a gazillion dollars or that we actually have no plans to do anything on this file.
Hence the reason this story made me shudder and giggle at the same time today.
Maybe we just need to have some more idea showers so we can come to a memorandum of understanding that we will never utter phrases and words which make one want to jab pencils into their eyeballs.