Beaconicity? A non-word? C’mon now…

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?

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