Friday, 12 November 2010


Lucy Pepper on Twitter "outcomes" has to be the dumbest word ever invented by idiots. ever."

"Outcomes" is one of my bête noires. What is wrong with the word result? Another pet hate is "success criteria" which they are obsessed with using at school - apparently if you use this sad management-speak jargon in every lesson, it makes the kids 80% cleverer. I catagorically refused to use this phrase in Year 1 (5 and 6 year olds. I ask you.)

Honestly, I think that the Plain English Campaign should have powers to hand out custodial sentences. The educational establishment would get life for crimes against the English language. When I was doing my PGCE I was amazed to find them referring to the Desired Learning Objective (DLO - they love an acronym.) What they meant was the aim of the lesson.

Any jargon in your job that drives you crazy?


  1. leveraging, where used instead of using

  2. I just hate action as a verb.

  3. I work in the marketing industry. You have no idea how bad this shit can get. I've ended up using this language in my day to day work because if I didn't there would be no way to communicate with those around me. Plain English doesn't seem to work with these people.

  4. GSE, that's just plain nonsense.

    Billy - arrgh! arrgh! what is wrong with "do"? "Moving forward" also sets my teeth on edge. Why don't you say "In the future" if that's what you mean?

    LC, I can imagine. I love that cartoon. You should contribute to this:

  5. GSE, that rings alarm bells. "Leveraging" in business speak means "borrowing a heck of a lot of money", as in "a leveraged buy-out". If people outside business are using it in place of "using" then look for the con trick.

    You might be interested in the Local Government Junk the Jargon Campaign, which has some good links in the sidebar.