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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.