Wednesday, June 22, 2005

He Who LAFCOs Last LAFCOs Hardest

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will fine itself $1 for each use of bureaucratic lingo. FBI and CIA are fine, but arcane, infrequently used acronyms (which may seem common to readers here) such as LAFCO (that's Local Agency Formation Commission) will trigger the fine.

Money will go to charity.

It's a smart move, if you support transparent government and the English language generally. As one Supe said, "When people can't understand what you're talking about, they can't feel involved."

Trying to decipher acronyms can be a full-time job, especially ones that are spoken differently than they are written. The article cites the Juvenille Systems Planning Advisory, or JSPAC, which is pronounced "jazz pack" as an example. Of course, in that case, even spelled out we're not entirely sure what it does.

One small step for local government, one large leap for lovers of plain English.

Thanks to reader SK for the tip

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