This week's weasel words
Targeted localised shark migration strategy
'This does not represent a culling of sharks. It is not a fear-driven hunt, it is a targeted, localised shark mitigation strategy.' Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett, WA shark policy a 'cull by another name', WA Today, 10 December 2013. Thanks to Mary Adam.
De-escalating with a body-slam
'He states that he used force to prevent her escape, having used ‘‘verbal reasoning ... to de-escalate the situation initially''.' Metro Ticket inspector after picking up a 15-year-old girl and body-slamming her to the ground. The Age, 9 December, 2013.
'This unit provides students with an introduction to global sustainability issues and the significance of law to them. No previous knowledge of law or sustainability is required. This unit is relevant to a broad range of disciplines, as it deals with environmental policy, science and politics, ethics, philosophy and the legal system. In particular, it considers the synergies between these areas, in the context of sustainability issues . The unit takes an international and comparative approach to sustainability and sustainable development, but with legal concepts and processes as the main focus. While sustainability is dealt with in many different ways, this unit considers sustainability through an interdisciplinary lens and the development of multifaceted solutions to current global dilemmas.' Macquarie University.Thanks to Judas Mamedov.
Locked in the Confusion room
'A key part of the process is to explore such that individuals (and their coaches)
remain open to seeing the “zero point”. This is often an ideal that they hold in their
heads rather than in their hearts, or that falsely protects them from their fears.
Identifying the zero point is a turning point – a point of no return – and it lies somewhere
in the Confusion Room. It is the eventual insight that highlights what the
person has been reluctant to let go of in order to create something new. It informs
the focus of the inquiry that, when given an appreciative reframe, can take the
individual out of Confusion and accelerate their progress to Inspiration. Thus, time
spent between Self-censorship and Confusion should be treated as a search for
the most powerful Topic of Inquiry (also known as the Define Phase).' From the International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry,
November 2013. Thanks to David.
'My government deplores the use of torture but we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen'. Australian PM Tony Abbott in Sri Lanka. NB. Australia is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, which states: "No circumstance justifies a qualification or limitation of absolute rights. Absolute rights cannot be suspended or restricted, even during a declared state of emergency."
ANGUS CAMPBELL: I will not comment further in relation to on-water matters. Thank you.
REPORTER: This business is of great public interest.
ANGUS CAMPBELL: I will not comment further in relation to on-water matters.
REPORTER: Have they been…
ANGUS CAMPBELL: I will not comment further in relation to on-water matters, I think we've dealt with that question.
The head of Operation Sovereign Borders, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell responding to questioning from a reporter. ABC PM, 8 November, 2013.
Customer Experience Division needs help
'The Customer Experience Division is responsible for developing a new approach to engaging with customers and is focused on the customer experience. Through insight, the Division develops a thorough understanding of the customer to drive evidence-based decision making. Customer Experience Division then leads the organisation in ensuring that transport planning, policy, investment and services are driven by customer needs, and exercises influence where necessary to ensure a continued customer focus. Through these activities, Customer Experience plays a critical role in
shaping the customer-centric culture of the organisation.' Advert for Product Development Officer, Jobs NSW. Thanks to
What's this job?
'The purpose of this role is to manage the council-owned and operated creative precinct to maximise achievements in line with Auckland Council's vision, values and strategy. We will look to you to manage external contractors and a wide variety of critical stakeholders, to ensure a consummate customer experience for any Aucklander, New Zealander or international customer visiting this unique Auckland Council facility.' Advert for Art Gallery Manager. Thanks to Gary Henderson.
'Appropriately foster process-centric methods of empowerment vis-a-vis error-free e-business. Synergistically repurpose e-business supply chains through 24/365 infomediaries. Authoritatively facilitate go forward services without robust opportunities. Appropriately conceptualize ubiquitous vortals rather than effective best practices.' Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. Thanks to anonymous.
Putting things in people's bums not consistent with Navy values. Inappropriate too.
'The alleged behaviours are simply not consistent with navy values. Navy does not tolerate inappropriate behaviour and will act accordingly if any of the allegations are substantiated.' Vice Admiral Griggs of the RAN responding to claims of
a 'bastardisation ritual included acts in which sailors were smacked and anally penetrated with pens and other objects on their birthdays'. TheAge, 8 November, 2013.
Thought bubbles with key words - PowerPoint slide 4 of 26 on the 'FBE Strategic Planning Process' (a mission-driven streamlined process) shown to staff at Monash University.
More from Monash: Delivering Impact
Motto of Monash Magazine where you can 'read how our researchers are delivering impact'.
What others say
John Kenneth Galbraith
'Further, it must be said, much past writing on the history of economic ideas has been aggressively dull. There are a significant number of learned men and women who hold that any successful effort to make ideas lively, intelligible and interesting is a manifestation of deficient scholarship. This is the fortress behind which the minimally coherent regularly find refuge.' From A History of Economics: the past as the present, Chapter 1. Thanks to Gary Henderson.
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Who are we?
When Don Watson wrote Death Sentence (in UK - Gobbledygook, Atlantic, in US - Death Sentences, Gotham Books) a torrent of letters and emails began from people rebelling against managerial language and in July 2004 this website was facilitated going forward.
Since then Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon and Bendable Learnings have been published.
Why Weasel Words?
'In 1916 Theodore Roosevelt declared that the 'tendency to use what have been called weasel words was "one of the defects of our nation".' 'You can have universal training or you can have voluntary training, but when you use the word "voluntary" to qualify the word "universal", you are using a weasel word,' he said: 'it has sucked all the meaning out of "universal".'
If you want to touch base, please send an email.
All cartoons on this website © Bruce Petty. Thanks Bruce.
Many thanks to Rupert Freeman for designing
our initial website.
It's managed by Helen Smith.
Page last updated
29 November, 2013.
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