Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jargon in English - acronyms: and synonyms

A. Reading and Writing

The use of jargon:

The language used in business is distinct from other ‘kinds’ of
English. We tend to use an abundance of business jargon, nonstandard
English terms, phrases, or acronyms that quickly convey
an idea or concept. Jargon works if the people we are
communicating with know the meaning of these terms. Business
jargon is colourful, useful, but also dangerous. It excludes people
who are not familiar with the terms or phrases. It is also sometimes
used by people to make themselves or their ideas sound important;
they deliberately use business jargon to show they are in control
and therefore more credible.

Read the following passage:

Two ‘ISO’ certified schools run by a leading industrial group
in Chennai are working on an ‘excellence model’. The ‘USP’
(Unique Selling Proposition) of the schools is that they would
take total responsibility of helping children achieve their career
dream. The staff members spent three full days in 1995 to arrive
at the ‘Vision statement’. A freelance HR consultant facilitated
the programme. Two years later they did a ‘Vision Audit’
programme and found that the school had no clear boundary
between the ‘task’ and ‘sentient’ systems. To draw a clear
boundary between the ‘task’ and ‘sentient’ systems a ‘future
search’ programme was organised involving the entire community.
In 2002, the schools started working on the ‘excellence model’.
The approach paper was presented to a panel comprising the
Chairman of the industrial group, a leading HR consultant, the
Head of an NGO and a Senior Ayurvedic medico with strong
conviction in Gandhian philosophy and Ancient Indian Culture.

With the inputs given by the panel members a ‘road map’ is
being prepared by the schools to achieve ‘excellence’. The goal is
to make the two schools most sought after in their respective
geographic areas of function. The excellence model considers four
pillars of excellence (i.e. areas in which the school would excel) –
academics, extra curricular activities, life-skills, values and career.

Streams and sub-streams of each ‘pillar’ are being defined to
include objectives, input, output, cycle time and completion
criteria. Care is taken to see that the completion criteria are clearly
measurable. Each sub-stream is broken into several modules for
convenience. The definition of each module will lead to listing
major and minor activities to be initiated for achieving excellence.

The final phase would be to draw a ‘road map’ for each school
which will define responsibilities, target dates, rewards for
achievements and punishments for failures.

(Note: Even schools run by imaginative managements and headed
by dynamic individuals could become productive units -productive
not in the material sense, but in the academic and spiritual sense.
The above is a standing example of how a school will vie with
enterprising corporate sectors in all aspects, like developing
human resources and leadership qualities and inculcating human
values. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is more to come.)
Look at the words in bold in the above passage. They are corporate
terminology/jargon which have been, in this context, transferred
to the field of education.

Task 1: Give the full forms of the following acronyms:

1. GDP
2. WTO
3. RBI
5. NSE
6. CMD
7. CEO
8. EPF

Task 3: Fill in the blanks with words from the box:

1. We ………….. the bill but were told it was correct.
2. If you have got the receipt the shop will ………….. your money or exchange the goods.
3. I’m writing to ………….. the order for 1800 spark plugs.
4. There was no money in his account so the cheque ………
5. The company will ………….. 50 of its employees.
6. The bank is planning to …………..over 80 new graduate trainees.
7. After a boardroom battle, the chairman was forced to ……….
8. As a cost-cutting measure, several senior executives have been made …………..
9. We have overseas ………….. in Germany and in the UK.
10. Despite the ………….. the company did pretty well.

Task 4: Can you give the synonyms of the words given below? Make sentences with the words after writing then synonyms.

1. sack
2. deadline
3. troubleshooting
4. bottom line
5. crunch
6. downtime
7. turnaround
8. clinch

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