Jason and the Jargonauts

I’m indebted to a reader – who calls himself, rather sweetly, “John Jargonaut” – for alerting me to the language-fest that is the Commission for Social Care Inspection’s annual report. John is clearly on a mission with the Commission.

After suggesting it makes the shipping forecast sound interesting, he asks me: what do you do with “objectives”? You “deliver” them, of course.

And what else do you “deliver on”? Your “ambitions”, naturally.

And what sort of “study” do you publish on home care services? An “in-depth” one.

What do you do with the quality and safety of services? You “drive” them up.

And “outcomes”? “Improve” them, of course. “Processes”? “Reform” them. As for “improvement” itself? Well, “lever” it, guys, “lever” it.

* The summary also says (with John’s capitals): “We have increased the involvement of people who use social care services in the DESIGN and DELIVERY of our work and both REFLECTED and AMPLIFIED their views and experiences of social care.” Phew! But there’s more: whereas organisations talk up their USP (unique selling point) the CSCI boasts of its UBP – its “uniquely broad perspective”, whatever that may be.

* On p2 of the report, the CSCI proclaims proudly to be a “corporate member of the Plain English Campaign – committed to clearer communication”.

So I handed a copy to (let’s call her) Joan Jargonaut, who recently placed her father-in-law into care, and asked her to underline any phrases she didn’t understand. She gave up after her pen ran out of ink on page 12.

Some of her highlights: “CSCI controls entry to the care market by licensing providers through its registration activity” “statutory duties and functions” “regulatory scope” and “support the specialist policy networks”.

To a “Standing Reference Group”, Joan added: “You’d think with all the money they must have to publish this self-congratulatory crap, they could afford chairs.” Quite.

* Want to expose jargon? Send examples to jason.jargon@virgin.net

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