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Lecturers want blue-sky thinking on unintelligible buzzwords

Published 31/12/2010

Lecturers have hit out at the rise in 'marketing speak' - and the growing number of Government publications and public relations releases littered with unintelligible buzzwords and newly coined phrases.

Random use of the word 'tool' in a distinctly non-DIY way, 'solutions', often preceded by the word 'bespoke', and 'targeted deliveries', usually involving technology or intelligence, in a virtual or even non-virtual world, has been increasing all year. News organisations have been swamped in recent months with announcements of 'invisible background optimisation' of computer software by eliminating virtual disk 'bloat', development of a voltage optimisation product to be attached to the consumer unit (fuse box).

Helpful government communications can also be distinctly unhelpful, as shown by this 'simple example' of student funding repayment calculations from a Whitehall department: "Interest of RPI (=2.75%) + 2.2% is added to produce loan balance at the SRDD: Balance at SRDD = £10,000 x 1.0495 (3) + £10,000 x 1.0495 (2) + £10,000 x 1.0495 = £33,069."

'Suites' of new marketing solutions have been launched and blue sky thinking is being rapidly replaced by Clouds.

Another Whitehall paper said a more "locally-led plural system of procurement" should operate, taking a "modular approach" so IT services would embody the "core assumption of connect all, rather than replace all systems."

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