Bureaucracy-speak: red tape jargon in perspective at long last

If you are growing to hate the red tape jargon surrounding your job – especially if you work in the public sector – this video will help put it all into a comfortable perspective for you.

This was shared by someone I know who works for the federal Canadian Government in Ottawa. However I suspect it … or derivations of it … are applicable to pretty much any English-language country.

And translations of it are likely to be applicable almost anywhere else in the world.

What have we done to deserve such de-humanizing language and concepts as these?

Bureaucracy-speak in action…

Don’t you just love that little girl?

And don’t you just fear for her, in case she should end up having to dwell by those phrases in real life should she choose to follow a career in the public sector?

Jargon jars.

What do you think?

Want to write right without the red tape?

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English




  1. I read this real example of bureaucratic English and its translation into plain English yesterday:

    A distinction should be made at an age appropriate to the background and nationality of the student, below which the concept of the course should be for juveniles and above it for young adults.

    Translated into plain English:
    The courses should take into account the ages, background and nationality of the students.

    Well why not just say that then? 🙂

  2. I cringed more because I can hear myself saying some of those phrases sometimes! Shoot me now …

  3. I love it!

    Made me think of a corporate colleague from the 1980s who used the term “leave-behinds” to refer to handouts given to participants at the end of a meeting. Sheesh!

  4. Out of the mouths of babes 🙂