New Whitehall style guide bans jargon

This discussion belongs to Translation news » "New Whitehall style guide bans jargon".
You can see the translation news page and participate in this discussion from there.

Mark
Local time: 14:27
Italian to English
What? Jul 31, 2013

I'd hardly call that jargon. It's just, well, language mostly.

If they need any help with the next draft, I'd suggest:

'Spades shall be referred to as "spades".'

Edit: I should have read the whole thing, obviously. There's definitely some pointless jargon in there too.

[Edited at 2013-07-31 16:00 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
More fudge, Minister? Jul 31, 2013

Banning jargon sounds great at first, but a closer look reveals that the exhortation (or is that also too long and recondite?) not to "use formal or long words when easy or short ones will do" leaves the question of when something "will do" more or less up to the user. Which I suppose is OK, since now we can decide when we want to be formal or not.

However, the instructions to "use ‘buy’ instead of ‘purchase’, ‘help’ instead of ‘assist’, ‘about’ instead of ‘approximately’ and ‘like’ instead of ‘such as’"... is simply telling us to ignore the time-honoured difference between formal and informal registers. In other words, it's not just simplifying, but dumbing down to suit the lowest common denominator. Like telling those unfortunates among us who can't handle the apostrophe to just leave them out. A cop out, however well-intentioned. A fudge. Good for a laugh if nothing else.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Inge Luus  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 15:27
German to English
+ ...
Just write any old how Aug 2, 2013

So, I suppose that now instead of "receiving grants such as childcare grants", it is now in order to say "get grants like childcare grants". As translators, translating into "native" English, I suppose that puts us off the hook from trying to get that phrase just right, and we can now, literally, write the first thing that comes to mind (??). Assuming, of course, that these guidelines filter into all writing...

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:27
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Could someone please send them a copy of Plain Words? Aug 2, 2013

Sir Ernest Gowers must be rolling in his grave!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Plain-Words-Ernest-Gowers/dp/0140511997

I have not got hold of the original books from 1948 and about 1954...
But I still treasure my copy, revised by Sir Bruce Fraser, Pelican 1973.

The latest revision by Greenbaum and Whitcut is shorter, but retains the spirit of the original - allowing for good style and clarity without dumbing down.

Sir Ernest Gowers (1880 - 1966) knew from extensive practical experience what he was doing, and both books are healthy - and quite entertaining - goodnight reading.

There is a 'buzz phrase generator', attributed to the Canadian Defence Department, in the earlier book under a section 'For Amusement only'.

The modern version includes a list of 'Words to be used with caution' - and explains why. But it does not forbid their use.

The new book is money well spent - and no one could call it expensive...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:27
English to German
+ ...
Is it still OK to deliver babies Aug 2, 2013

even if they don't fit into a pizza box or a regular envelope?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:57
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
So not only non-natives murder the English language Aug 3, 2013

The government of uk seems to be an equal front runner in this enterprise!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:57
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Probably not Aug 3, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Is it still OK to deliver babies

even if they don't fit into a pizza box or a regular envelope?


You will have to give birth to them, now, or bring a child into the world, unless you would prefer(or rather the gov, of uk would prefer) to litter a child. But it might not, then, for you litter garbage, not children.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:27
Hebrew to English
The Whitehall Bubble Aug 3, 2013

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

The government of uk seems to be an equal front runner in this enterprise!


Well, they're hardly "murdering" the language by issuing a few directives about plain language use in a VERY RESTRICTED context. No doubt there's some throwing out of the baby with the bathwater, but quite a lot of those words and phrases are quite hated (for example"going forward" has a very bad rep)

Who cares how they phrase things in the Whitehall bubble? Nobody listens to them anyway.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Texte Style
Local time: 14:27
French to English
Nicole do you not read the newspapers? Aug 3, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Is it still OK to deliver babies
even if they don't fit into a pizza box or a regular envelope?


The jargon is "to be delivered of a baby", please! Did you miss out on all the buzz about the Hallowed Royal Baby???

Those of us who are interested in childbirth found that expression extremely weird and concluded that it meant they did a C-section, given the passive tense.

Turns out she had a totally natural birth, no painkillers, nuffink. They could have announced that Kate "gave birth", to honour her proactive stance with language to reflect what actually happened.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Texte Style
Local time: 14:27
French to English
Bala might just be agreeing for once... Aug 3, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

The government of uk seems to be an equal front runner in this enterprise!


Well, they're hardly "murdering" the language by issuing a few directives about plain language use in a VERY RESTRICTED context.


To be fair, Ty, Bala might just mean that all the "going forwards" are what is murdering the language. So deciding forthwith that we must no longer assist the going forward approach would actually mean that you agree somewhat?

Ty Kendall wrote:

No doubt there's some throwing out of the baby with the bathwater,


and please, I don't care for the royal family in the least but let's not throw little Georgie Boy out with the bath water, he's still an innocent little mite!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:57
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
The Whitehall Bubble Effect Aug 4, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:
No doubt there's some throwing out of the baby with the bathwater,


Well, it seems to be having quite an effect on your English at any rate.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:27
Hebrew to English
Enlighten me... Aug 4, 2013

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:
No doubt there's some throwing out of the baby with the bathwater,


Well, it seems to be having quite an effect on your English at any rate.


How so?


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

New Whitehall style guide bans jargon

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search