This Abstract String Of Words Is Important

I’m back at work after a few weeks away and in the thick of editing stuff in preparation for our email bulletin that goes out this week.  It’s good to have a break and come back to this stuff with fresh eyes. The two docs I’ve gone through so far were chock of full of my favourite Excessive Capitalisation of Important Words.

Rather than just cursing my pedantry it occurred to me that the unnecessary capitalisation was a red flag for jargon. The capitalised words were all ones that planners either think is important or they have some kind of special meaning for them so they elevate it to proper noun status.

We’ve all got a responsibility to make our documents accessible and in plain English.  I’ll accept it’s sometimes hard to see the wood for the trees. But next time you’re looking through one of your planning documents take a look at what you’ve given a capital letter to and ask yourself – is this word so special that the punter out there is going to understand what we mean?

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4 thoughts on “This Abstract String Of Words Is Important

  1. Absolutely! Its the capitalisation of things that aren’t proper nouns that I’m talking about.

    There are LOTS of examples… most common is ‘local development framework’ or ‘core strategy’ neither are proper nouns but its become so common I’ve got over it.

    I just noticed the phenomena creeping. Its probably in part based on a misunderstanding of what = proper noun but I thought the idea that it might point the way to identifying the inclusion of jargon to be the more interesting point (rather than prompting a debate over is or is this not a proper noun).

  2. Very Important Comment to follow:
    If people aren’t shown what is Important via Capitalisation, how would they know that Chief Executives are Visionary Leaders who are creating LDFs that are getting ‘hard to reach’ Minorities into the Consultation Process and meeting Government Ministers’ expectations!?

    End of Important Comment.

    p.s. dig the new Banner.

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