Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ban those with power from using jargon to blind us !!

We'd all be a bit more empowered if people in power at all levels were required not to try to blind us with jargon. Recent reports therefore give an interesting and very important angle on the Heathrow Airport expansion consultations. They are indeed using excessive and unrequired jargon such as "periodic emissions cost assessment", "net present value terms", "mixed mode operations" and "external climate change costs".

Use of jargon in this way is a well known unfair technique of presentation and argument. It is commonplace in politics, local and central government operations and elsewhere in our society (not least advertising/marketing attempts at persuading us to consume more than we need). Its no surprise that the Plain English Campaign are up in arms about the consultation documents.

Great to see Lib Dem MP Susan Kramer putting a very good question on this to Gordon Brown at this week's Prime Minister's Questions. Brown's response was patronising instead of plain however, much to his discredit.

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