AS a newly elected councillor I’ve been involved in a series of induction sessions to introduce newbies like myself to the processes and protocols of local politics.
It’s designed to make navigation and understanding of the various departments easier.
For the most part it’s been a huge success, even the Local Government Finance talk, which isn’t so much complex as a constantly changing landscape was both interesting and relevant.
Information Technology is one area that irrespective of whatever I am doing I get lost. I’m of that generation who went through school without using even a calculator and then had my family while the IT evolution was taking place in the workplace. I returned to work after maternity to companies with their own system that didn’t demand I learn the broader environment. Word remains a mystery to this day!
Imagine my horror then when the IT department launched into their presentation using a language of jargon.
Our consultant introduced himself as the Interface between councillors and the IT department and revealed that he looked across the piste before introducing new systems.
Just as well because he didn’t look as though he had ever skied across any piste I know of. Or maybe he was talking about another kind of pissed!
The point I’m making is that when we work in an industry we tend to talk in terms that are industry specific. That’s great amongst colleagues but it can lead to confusion and exclusion for those who don’t work in our industry.
Technical terms accepted, the English language offers plenty of scope to be clear, concise and creative in speech and the written word. IT doesn’t have to be incomprehensible. After all, it means Information Technology and its aim is to provide data that makes life simpler.
So next time you find yourself talking to people about your specialist subject make yourself understood.
If you would like any advice about clear writing then please contact us at or tel: 01924 632269