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Editor's Blog: Journalism and jargon-busting


Very little makes me angry.
Indeed those close to me would argue only two things truly bring out the Ebrey rage - football (well, Tottenham, specifically) and bad drivers.
You can add a third thing to this list - jargon.
I hate jargon, absolutely detest it.
Or, perhaps I should say, I am not particularly enamoured by the practice of using an inordinate amount of words where a few syllables and characters would suffice.
As I was saying, I hate jargon.
I do, however, love this job; largely because as well as being a journalist/editor, I see myself as being a jargon-buster, sent to cut through the waves and waves of bull's waste churned out by PR companies and - even worse - our police forces and councils every day.

A few examples, if I may;

1) Councils, police and other authorities love nothing more than telling us they are forming a 'multi-agency partnership' Nonsense - you're just working together and doing your job, nowt spesh in that
2) Planners speaking of a 'mixed-use development' It's got houses and it's got some shops; that'll do.
3) Police officers constantly using the phrase 'with regards to'. Utterly redundant.
4) Another police one - "we executed a search warrant". Executed?
5) When firms talk about 'growing our business' What kind of English is that?!

I could go on but the foam is quite literally spewing from my mouth (it's not, just thought I'd bring in another of my pet hates, the misuse of the word 'literally') Please feel free to suggest your own pet jargon-related hates below though.
I'll leave you with this; a press release which dropped into our inbox this morning...

This meeting, which is the third in a series of six, will focus on explaining the approach of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), the benefits of participating and addressing community issues in the presence of statutory partners. The ABCD approach works on the basis of building on passion and enthusiasm, so at the end of that session we will be checking with people who would like to support this work by participating in future meetings.

Nope - I don't know what it means either.

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