Predictors of beaconicity

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Heaven only knows what this means. It’s one of the phrases on the Local Government Association’s list of banned words from 2009. Which presumably means that a council, somewhere, has used it.

The 2010 list doesn’t, at first glance, contain anything quite as obscurely fatuous, but does contain some corkers. ‘Webinar’ and ‘wellderly’ are now forbidden, as is ‘goldfish bowl facilitated conversation’. Incidentally, I’d love to know what this last thing is. Perhaps council workers have forsaken the watercooler (surely an Americanism and a cliché in itself) and now catch up on gossip and last night’s TV around the fish tank.

There is a serious point here. The Local Government Association stresses that it is impossible to avoid all jargon in internal communications, but that councils should remove gobbledygook from their public communications. In that context, the guidelines seem sensible, though there are a few on the list that should never have been uttered or committed to print anywhere, by anyone.

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