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19 Sep 2011

Jargon – Nobody Wants to Know the Good Bits

I made an odd discovery when I was doing publicity for Pushing the Envelope last week – no one seems to be interested in the idea that some jargon is creative and even (perish the thought) interesting.

Personally, I love the idea that someone somewhere has coined the acronym WOMBAT to mean ‘waste of money, brains and time’. I love the concept of mushroom management – ‘keep them in the dark and feed them bullsh*t’ – and I’m also intrigued by the thought that this was once considered a positive thing to do, because if you feed them enough (even if it is sh*t) they will grow. I like the way expressions evolve so that people forget where they came from in the first place: this is a phenomenon that will, one day soon, make it possible to perform a ‘due diligence’ carelessly.

But do a phone-in on the subject and all you hear about is the ghastliness of expressions such as ‘knowledge base’ and ‘get with the programme’. It’s a shame: even this pond-life end of the language spectrum deserves some credit for – well, for pushing the envelope, for making language go that little bit further, higher and faster.

And let’s face it, we’re stuck with it, so we might as well enjoy it.

Latest News: A number of people – not all of them respectful
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