Gobbledygook banned by English and Welsh local authorities

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Public Relations  |  writing  |  copywriting  |  Best Practices

Valerie Conyngham points us to a fascinating story.


The Local Government Association (LGA), an association of English and Welsh local authorities representing over 50 million people, has told local government officials to ditch meaningless jargon.

According to an article in The Telegraph, the LGA has sent a list to Town Halls of 100 words and phrases that should be avoided. The list includes "empowerment," "synergies," "revenue stream," "sustainable communities," and "stakeholders."

Sir Simon Milton, the LGA's chairman, said: "The public sector can not, must not and should not hide behind impenetrable jargon and phrases. Why do we have to have 'coterminous, stakeholder engagement' when we could just 'talk to people' instead?"

Go Sir Simon!

There's more…

"Councils have a duty, not only to provide value for money to local people, but also to tell people what they get for the tax they pay. Without explaining what a council does in proper English then local people will fail to understand its relevance to them or why they should bother to turn out and vote. Unless information is given to people to explain why their council matters then local democracy will be threatened with extinction."

Right on! This is great. And true for all companies, nonprofits, and government agencies.

Eliminate gobbledygook (like the LGA) and your organization will reach more buyers and be more successful.