I actually like the word Austerity, it brings to mind a certain English ‘stiff upper lip-ness’, it’s nicely formed, I just tended to like it before. I say before, because now I find that it is being bandied about by all sorts of managers, newspapers, politicians and well, i’ve heard it more recently than i’ve ever heard it before. And the connotation this time around is BAD. Very bad.

I like using appropriate words. Why use ten when you can use one? Also, different words have different inflections, why use ‘nice’, when ‘wonderful’, ‘amazing’, ‘fabulous’ can be used with so much more effectiveness. What does get me rather riled though is when more obscure words get used to confuse and to belittle. As you probably know by now, I’m all for education, knowledge and openness – so the use of this word recently has really started to frustrate me.

‘Austerity measures’ ‘Austere behaviours’. Austerity. At work, we have all been called to an ‘Austerity’ meeting. A number of colleagues hopped over to me and asked me what it meant. I explained. Their faces dropped. Panic set in and I was greeted with ‘does this mean redundancy then? Pay cuts? Working hour cuts?’ Sad fact is it probably means all of the above. So if it means all of the above, why don’t people just come out and say it straight? When it’s something this important and life changing, you have to make it 100% clear to everyone. It’s ok me using obscure words in my blog because it’s my outlet, my words may mean something to some, but nothing to others. When you’re talking about job losses and pay cuts – that means something to every single last employee of the company. Young and old, experienced and just starting out in the world. Plain simplistic English PLEASE.

Using language, jargon, whatever to confuse and mitigate anger is not right. It only serves to make people feel small, in fact it’s made many physically ‘hate’ the management because they feel ‘talked down to’. Politics, semantics, name it what you will. The end result is the same – it’ll be an interesting Christmas.