Words we should avoid
The examples below are just some of the words or terms that have crept into everyday language and usage. They largely represent jargon or ‘corporate speak’ which tends to be unhelpful. It can also generate a feeling of elitism/exclusion and is not in keeping with KFRS’ ‘plain English’ approach.
When writing try to ensure that you use terms that are straightforward rather than ‘buzz’ words or jargon. Remember: using jargon can not only bewilder the recipient, it can make the speaker look silly or pretentious!
This list is by no means comprehensive, but is an indication of the type of words and terms to guard against.
|agenda||the use of agenda should only apply to meetings. It should not be used to describe a person as ‘having an agenda’. Instead use 'having a plan' or 'intention'|
|brigade||do not refer to KFRS as Kent Fire Brigade or ‘the Brigade’. Use Kent Fire and Rescue Service|
|commit||state what is actually to be/being done rather than the intention|
|deliver||do not use in relation to goals or intentions. Deliver must only be used in KFRS when it relates to project management. Pizzas are delivered – not documents or ideas!|
|deploy||use only in a military context. In other contexts use terms such as ‘position’, ‘set up’ or ‘place’|
|dialogue||use speak / spoken / discussed|
|drive||only use in relation to people with self-drive or vehicles, never relate to projects. Instead use ‘motivate’, ‘push’ or ‘inspire’ dependent on the context|
|facilitate||use enable, or give details of what is being done|
|fireman||do not refer to 'fireman' - use the term 'firefighter' to describe operational crew|
|going forward||only relevant for travel. Instead use terms such as ‘proceed’, ‘looking ahead’, ‘advance’, or ‘in the future’|
|leverage||only use in a financial context. Instead use terms such as ‘advantage’ or ‘add weight’|
|slimming down||this relates to diet and food, not documents or processes. Instead use ‘reduce’ or ‘refine’|
The GOV.UK website provides some extra guidance about use of inclusive language: Words to use and words to avoid when talking about disability.