The Local Government Association earlier this week said that there were certain words and phrases that councils (and by extension others) shouldn't use because they were meaningless or confusing. Fair enough - its important that the language we all use is understandable and correct.
So I'd like to throw my own pet hates into the mix!
Firstly - "going forward" which seems constantly used in the context of plans or organisations. Well unless we are all about to go time travelling - there is not really any other way you could go! Now I know that people who use this phrase mean to refer to more than chronology - but what exactly? It is never clear and you could probably chop those two words off the end of a phrase and have exactly the same meaning
Secondly "refresh" when used about plans or strategies. We are told about the refresh of the Multi Area Agreement or Neighbourhood Plan or whatever. Why on earth is this word used. Surely if we are looking at a plan because a few years have gone by and we want to check and possibly amend we should be saying "update", or "review" or "revisit" or "renew". When the plan was first written, did we describe it as "fresh" ? No. We would have called it "new" - fresh carries a whole different group of meanings.
But finally, my all time bugbear is the word "access" when used as a verb. I don't "access" services. I use them, or apply for them, or get them, or receive them or qualify for them. In fact using access simply weakens the meaning in many cases.
So I am now off to Chair our Neighbourhood Partnership Working Group where no doubt we will be talking about how to refresh the LAA and enable people to access things going forward!