We need to get rid of business jargon. Do I have your buy-in? | Adrian Chiles

My first job in journalism was in business news. This wasn’t my first choice; in truth it would probably have been my last, but it was the only place that would have me. I was as bewildered as the next work experience bod but, since I had three weeks there, I thought I might as well try to get to the bottom of the stuff they were talking about. At school, no teacher had ever had to encourage me to put my hand up if I didn’t understand something. Invariably, my hand was raised already. My powers of concentration, severely limited at the best of times, diminish to zero if I hear words and phrases I am unfamiliar with. I have to put my hand up and seek clarification. I’m sure my teachers got tired of this, but not half as tired as the staff in the BBC’s Business Programmes department.

“What’s RPI?” I would ask.

“Inflation,” someone would explain.

“But what’s it stand for?”

“Retail Price Index.”

“Oh. And what’s RPI-X then?”

And so…

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