Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Commercial: BRIC-a-brac

Sure you've probably all seen this Gillian Tett piece already, detailing the inside story on how the idea of the BRICs came to be. I wanted to draw you attention to it:

a) because it's a salient reminder of the power of naming, and how a phenomena can suddenly be made real by a catchy, handy, memorable moniker

b) because the glimpses of jargon that we see littering the prose. I spotted 'BRIC-dom' and 'domestification' on my re-glance, and I'm sure there's more in there.

And my contention is that it's this reliance on jargon by investment and other banks that in part has lead us to the economic situation that we're in at the moment.

Because jargon suggests woolly thinking, a lack of robustness - and transparency. Bluntly, it suggests people are trying to hide things. I'm not saying that every industry doesn't need its own shorthand. But relying on it as the main means of communication to the outside world suggests nothing more than a scared priesthood hiding from an enraged laity.

And that didn't stop the Reformation either.

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