Bournemouth Council is leading the way in removing certain words from the Local Authority lexicon. They have a lot of choice with council jargon ranging from ‘Living Documents’ to ‘Performance Management Frameworks’ and acronyms like KLOEs, ROEs and ALMOs. However they have ignored these to concentrate on other more pressing issues.
The Daily Mail report that the council whose motto is ‘Pulchritudo et Salubritas’ has listed 19 Latin terms that it deems unacceptable. These aren’t even terms that schoolboys would scan for first in their Latin dictionary, instead they are words and phrases in common usage like ‘ad hoc’, ‘bona fide’ and ‘status quo’.
They reason that there are a lot of residents who don’t have English as a first language who may be confused. The Plain English Campaign supported the move explaining that people might confuse eg. with egg!
There’s me thinking that Councils had quite a lot to do without such pointless diversions but what do I know? Latin has only been around for a few thousand years, providing the base for the vast majority of European languages, thus giving the majority of people throughout the known world some vague idea of what someone is talking about when saying et cetera. As we know Latin is not the only influence on the English language. I assume that the Council will call an emergency session to debate the turmoil that will be caused by residents washing their hair with shampoo (Indian) in their bungalow (Indian) before leaving their cul-de-sac (French) to go to the cafe (French) for a cup of tea (Chinese). What a fiasco (Italian)! If they only retain the Anglo-Saxon, maybe Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand might find a quick return to the public sector on the south coast.