29 July 2009

Plain English Please

Matt Ranil at Aid Thoughts has a great post about aid jargon (the choice quote being "buzzwords, and their satanic progeny, acronyms").

I think we need a Plain English Campaign for aid; with a charter and everything. The British version has, I think, done a reasonable job of pestering government whenever they talk jibberish, and has attracted lots of media attention. They even have a cool online "Drivel Defence" software. Might have to see how some aid projects fare!

Alanna Sheikh also has a great series of posts on the subject here.

Incidentally, the word gobbledygook, meaning nonsensical language, was coined by Maury Maverick actually referring to civil service jargon. Maury was also the grandson of cattle rancher Samuel Maverick who coined the term "maverick" because he didn't brand his cattle.


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