04/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Replacing Government-Speak with Clear Words

Americans might like to take a cue from their British cousins in urging their government to replace technically correct government phraseology with words that normal people can understand. The Local Government Association (LGA) is a group that lobbies on behalf of local governments. The LGA has issued a list of 200 words and phrases that they think should be avoided when trying to communicate with citizens. Although some of the words are UK-specific, many are appropriate for elimination in the United States as well. Here are two lists: one set of examples of government-speak and their suggested replacements; and one set of words and phrases to be used only among government officials.

10 Examples of Government-Speak and What They Mean

1. Evidence Base - research shows
2. Functionality - use
3. Funding Streams - money
4. Iteration - version
5. Procure - buy
6. Rationalisation - cut
7. Robust - tough
8. Slippage - delay
9. Social Exclusion - poverty
10. Worklessness - unemployed

10 Words and Phrases to Avoid When Dealing with Normal People

1. Contestability
2. Holistic governance
3. Paradigm
4. Peer challenge
5. Predictors of beaconicity
6. Proactive
7. Subsidiarity
8. Synergies
9. Systematics
10. Thinking outside of the box