More bad words - banned by the New York Times

2 June, 2011 - 09:53

A little while ago I was fascinated by a post I read on the BBC website with a list issued by the British government of their banned buzzwords.

I spent about an hour last night catching up on some of my RSS feeds (which have fallen badly by the wayside since I've been helping Nee out with her wedding preparations) and design blogger Swiss Miss had a post to a fantastic New York Times blog post in the same vein called Words We Don't Say by Hugo Lindgren.

The story goes that when he first began his job at the New York Times, Kurt Andersen who was the editor at the time has a fantastic list stuck on the wall of his office of words that writers were forbidden to use in their articles. Wherever possible these words would be edited out. This is the image accompanying the article. Click on the image to view the NY Times post:

Kurt Andersens Banned Words

According to Hugo Lindgren this list is from 1977 at the latest, which was when he started his position at the newspaper, and yet fascinatingly almost all of the words on this list could be applied to a banned-words list of today. I like the comments on the article which suggest some more words: decidedly, going forward, utilize (omg I completely agree!!), however, arguably, impact, reach out to (instead of contact), and decidedly.

Also via SwissMiss I browsed over to a brilliant site that appeals strongly to my desire for order: ListGeeks. The homepage is made up of a grid of various lists by users (eg favourite smells, movies they want to see etc) and one lovely list screamed out at me: Terrible "Corporate Speak" Words by stilltron.

Terrible Corporate Speak Words by Stilltron on ListGeeks

British-government's banned buzzwords

14 April, 2010 - 00:03

In March last year the British government issued an official list of words that have been banned from use by the councils in order that council members effectively communicate. Read the BBC reports on this.

I find this quite amusing.. and I also think that this is a Good Thing, albeit a rather daft list ("client" is a buzzword?). With people everywhere reading many of the same things thanks to the high-speed information sharing of the internet, the meanings of catchy phrases will often become warped or altogether changed, and either way, lose their meaning and their impact.

The full list of the banned words below:

Agencies Ambassador Area based
Area focused Autonomous Baseline
Beacon Benchmarking Best Practice
Blue sky thinking Bottom-Up CAAs
Can do culture Capabilities Capacity
Capacity building Cascading Cautiously welcome
Challenge Champion Citizen empowerment
Client Cohesive communities Cohesiveness
Collaboration Commissioning Community engagement
Compact Conditionality Consensual
Contestability Contextual Core Message
Core principles Core Value Coterminosity
Coterminous Cross-cutting Cross-fertilisation
Customer Democratic legitimacy Democratic mandate
Dialogue Direction of travel Distorts spending priorities
Double devolution Downstream Early Win
Edge-fit Embedded Empowerment
Enabler Engagement Engaging users
Enhance Evidence Base Exemplar
External challenge Facilitate Fast-Track
Flex Flexibilities and Freedoms Framework
Fulcrum Functionality Funding streams
Gateway review Going forward Good practice
Governance Guidelines Holistic
Holistic governance Horizon scanning Improvement levers
Incentivising Income streams Indicators
Initiative Innovative capacity Inspectorates
Interdepartmental Interface Iteration
Joined up Joint working LAAs
Level playing field Lever Leverage
Localities Lowlights MAAs
Mainstreaming Management capacity Meaningful consultation
Meaningful dialogue Mechanisms Menu of Options
Multi-agency Multidisciplinary Municipalities
Network model Normalising Outcomes
Output Outsourced Overarching
Paradigm Parameter Participatory
Partnership working Partnerships Pathfinder
Peer challenge Performance Network Place shaping
Pooled budgets Pooled resources Pooled risk
Populace Potentialities Practitioners
Predictors of Beaconicity Preventative services Prioritization
Priority Proactive Process driven
Procure Procurement Promulgate
Proportionality Protocol Provider vehicles
Quantum Quick hit Quick win
Rationalisation Rebaselining Reconfigured
Resource allocation Revenue Streams Risk based
Robust Scaled-back Scoping
Sector wise Seedbed Self-aggrandizement
Service users Shared priority Shell developments
Signpost Single conversations Single point of contact
Situational Slippage Social contracts
Social exclusion Spatial Stakeholder
Step change Strategic Strategic priorities
Streamlined Sub-regional Subsidiarity
Sustainable Sustainable communities Symposium ­­
Synergies Systematics Taxonomy
Tested for Soundness Thematic Thinking outside of the box
Third sector Toolkit Top-down
Trajectory Tranche Transactional
Transformational Transparency Upstream
Upward trend Utilise Value-added
Vision ­ Visionary Welcome

We could use such a list in tech. Web 2.0 anyone?

Syndicate content