IT firms use jargon ‘to deceive’

Second only to lawyers in obfuscation

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Shocking as it may seem, 74 per cent of Brits reckon that business jargon is nothing more than a tool of deception and confusion.

What's more, over half think that nonsensical lingo is deployed as an arse-covering device by people who haven't got a clue what they're talking about. That, at least, is the conclusion of an Abbey National report which identifies lawyers and IT professionals as the worse culprits.

Frankly, we're shocked. Our own backroom boys are nothing less than paragons of linguistic virtue, eschewing obfuscation in favour of economy, clarity and precision. Here at Vulture Central there's no talk of having to "re-enable the client-side xml database server apps" whenever the search engine goes tits-up, that's for sure.

Sadly, other IT professionals clearly do not follow this righteous path of simplicity, much to the chagrin of the British Public. Nevertheless, 31 per cent of those polled admitted that they themselves used jargon to impress.

So, what's the solution? Chrissie Maher of the Plain English Campaign, which recently promoted "Plain English Day", asserts: "It's a real shame that jargon is so common in some industries that people use it just to fit in, even when they aren't sure what a term means. Just like the story of the Emperor's new clothes, somebody needs to admit the naked truth. We hope Plain English Day will inspire people to take a stand against the rampant misuse of jargon, which wastes everyone's time and money."

Well said. And here for the record is the full league table of jargonistic shame:

  1. Lawyers and solicitors
  2. Computer and IT professionals
  3. The Government
  4. Banks
  5. Local councils

Mercifully, we do not consider that the category "IT professionals" includes IT journos and marketing boys, which will come as a great relief to the El Reg Strategy Boutique which can continue its good work moneterizing our customer interface brand frontage. ®

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