Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star.
You’re well-educated, witty, wise and other flattering words beginning with the letter ‘W’.
How do I know?
Because you read my articles.
You probably speak at least one foreign language, maybe even Japanese or Javanese.
But how are you with the language we allneed to understand today – ‘Jargonese’?
This is the impenetrable wording used by many organisations (from banks to Government departments) to ‘easily explain’ complicated matters.
In fact, they tend to complicate matters that could be explained far more easily.
Jargonese often appears in the ‘small print’ of documents, which makes it so difficult to read that many of us don’t bother – even though a part of our brain is screaming, “Read it or regret it later!”
Adverts on commercial radio stations for accident claims specialists or PPI companies end with an actor ‘explaining’ the ‘Ts and Cs’ so quickly it’s impossible to comprehend what they are – the verbal equivalent of small print Jargonese.
Here’s a classic example of Jargonese contained in a letter a friend of mine (and thousands of other customers) recently received from the Group Chief Executive of a leading bank.
And I quote . . .
“Our differentiated, customer focused business model continues to deliver with our multi-brand multi-channel approach, cost leadership, low risk positioning, investment capacity and execution capabilities positioning us well for sustainable success in a digital world.”
You can say thatagain!
Once was enough.
Apart from the fact his comments mean little to The Ordinary Man In The Street or The Slightly Wealthier Man In The Avenue, I’d guess the Group Chief Executive is allergic to hyphens.
Because despite being an expert in Jargonese he left out hyphens between ‘multi’ and ‘brand’ and ‘multi’ and ‘channel’.
So, I put them in.
As I say, it’s only a guess.
I’m just being ‘hyphenthetical’ – a word that would easily fit in the Dictionary Of Jargonese!
The highlight of the week for me was something challenging and exciting, but thoroughly exhausting.
Let me explain.
My brother thought it would be a good idea for me to brush up on my motorcycle skills and enrolled me on a course with ‘A Skills and Thrills Experience’ motorcycles in West Wales.
When an experienced police motorcycle instructor puts you through your paces like you’ve never been put through before, a realisation occurs, ‘why hadn’t anyone else taught me these skills?’
Let’s face it, the roads today are busier than ever and accidents and fatalities are far too common – and with this in mind, extra tuition or advanced skills are an investment, not an expense.
So I stretched on my leathers (they must have shrunk in the wardrobe over the winter) dusted down the motorbike and headed for our first stop, The Owls Nest Tea Rooms in Llandovery.
There were many coffee and cake stops, during which a detailed debriefing was provided after each section of the course, which covered most of Mid and West Wales.
Eight hours in the saddle was not something that I was used to, so if you see me about and notice that I’m walking uncomfortably, please don’t laugh.
It was all done in the name of ‘Road Safety’.
Wynne John, you have so much to answer for.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk
Please again include www.philevans.co.uk