As an editor, I am firmly opposed to using a five-syllable word when there’s a perfectly good one- or two-syllable one that says exactly what you mean, especially when it can make your meaning less clear.
So I offer my enthusiastic congratulations to the Local Government Association, a group that represents city councils in the UK, for their recent banning of 100 “non-words” that have recently cropped up in bureaucratic correspondence, but that baffle the general population — the very people these local councils are meant to serve.
Here’s an article from The Guardian that explains the move, and contains these insightful words from the association’s chairman:
Why do we have to have ‘coterminous, stakeholder engagement’ when we could just ‘talk to people’ instead?
Here’s a list of the top ten terms — with plain-English translations — from The Telegraph. My favourite?
Predictors of Beaconicity: Signs that a council may win an award
Of course. Who wouldn’t have understood that?