Thank you so much to everyone who has gotten involved in our Jog on Jargon campaign in the past few weeks. I am delighted to say that we have four new examples to politely ask to jog on.
First up is Nick Murphy, an experienced housing leader and board member – and my fellow trustee at World Habitat! Nick responded to Sara-Anne’s original blog, saying his pet hate is a common complaint and one I wholeheartedly agree with:
“The jargon I loathe is ‘unit’. So much easier and more respectful to residents to say ‘home’ instead.”
Second, we have another housing sector stalwart, Plumis adviser and all-round housing guru, Jan Taranczuk. Like Nick, Jan responded on LinkedIn to say:
“Of course ‘void’ was initially used in rent accounting! My jargon dislike is ‘insight’ – a meaningless word!”
My, ahem, two insights for jog on jargon include one plea from local authorities and one slight curve ball.
So, third up is ‘legacy housing’. This was heard at a recent local authority event and roundly slammed by delegates. There is simply no excuse for this term. It is pejorative and suggests in some way an organisation is burdened by these distasteful homes that it has no choice but to somehow manage. Sara-Anne agrees, saying it gives no sense of ownership – just makes it clear that these are problem homes.
Finally, my slight curve ball: acronyms. The housing sector is awash with acronyms. RSL, RSH, HA, LA, HOS, HRA, LHA, DLUHC, RP….. The list goes on and on and on….. These puffed-up capitals of confusion have no place in a sector that is trying to reconnect with customers and make it clear to people that they are on their side. The solution is simple: either spell it out or say ‘housing provider’.
This is a habit which I know the housing sector finds incredibly hard to break – but break it we must. It is time for acronyms to jog on.
So, that’s four more for the housing jargon bin and I hope you agree – but if not, I’d also be interested to hear why. Similarly, if there are any phrases or words your organisation uses that you’d like us to feature on our blog that you can subtly signpost people to, I’m all ears. You can direct message them to us on Twitter or email Sara.Mills@see-media.co.uk (we promise it’ll be in confidence).
Stay posted for more Jog on, Jargon alternatives and suggestions on how to communicate more effectively with your audiences by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter. Until next time.