[Taxacom] a banned list of the 200 worst uses of jargon, .... "taxonomy" among the worst horrors.

Richard Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Wed Mar 18 10:29:01 CDT 2009

When I look at the list, I am discouraged to see everyday words that all 
should know (e.g., advocate, client, priority) included. Then I remember 
how language is written by politicians and bureaucrats and I can see how 
these words can be used in ways that prove confusing, if not downright 

When a bureaucrat speaks of a "taxonomy of agencies" or "core 
disciplinary systematics", I come to understand the frustration of those 
trying to get basic information.

We all need to remember to chose words wisely in order to communicate 
effectively and word-choice must be based on intended audience.


Dick J

Richard Jensen, Professor
Department of Biology
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Tel: 574-284-4674

Alastair Culham wrote:
> Dear all,
> This url from the BBC was passed to me by one of our MSc Taxonomy and
> Systematics students today
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7948894.stm.  This list from the
> Local Government Association is of 200 'banned' words that prevent local
> government from communicating effectively.  It includes the words 'Taxonomy'
> and 'Systematics' - not good news when it comes to advertising our subject
> :-)
> Alastair 
> ____________________________________________
> Dr Alastair Culham
> Centre for Plant Diversity and Systematics
> Harborne Building
> School of Biological Sciences
> University of Reading
> Whiteknights
> Reading, RG6 6AS
> U.K.
> Senior Resident Tutor, Lakeside Group
> Programme Director, MSc Plant Diversity
> School e-Learning Coordinator
> Associate Editor, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
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