Tuesday, May 22, 2007

HR Latin

Penelope Trunk of the Brazen Careerist posted recently about the use and abuse of jargon at the workplace.

Penelope's blog is great. Is is full of good advice. Much of it is common sense, which is also good. It is useful to be reminded about basic values in difficult times.

There seems to be one category of people who often disagree with her, judging by comments. This category is the HR. (This is another reason I am so fond of Penelope. The HR have never been my best friends.) If the purpose of jargon is to obscure the meaning, the HR master this technique to perfection. They seem to be incapable of writing a job description so that potential candidates can understand what the role is about.

Recently, I have noticed a new development: the HR have embraced Latin. 'The position requires acumen or gravitas.' 'The onus is on a candidate to provide the right details.' 'An excellent salary & package is on offer here, including the kudos of joining a growing upstart business that is garnering quite a reputation.'

The words come straight from a Latin dictionary: you can check in Lewis and Short, one of the best available on-line. I surely remember reading them in Horace when I was at the university. However, I have never ever heard these words from any manager, middle or senior.

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