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BM Hero – Vlad the Jargon Slayer

Sustainability can’t last, warns MEP

Many thanks to one ‘Monster reader who brought this laudable initiative to our attention.

Czech MEP Vladimír Železný has launched a campaign to crack down “on overuse of the adjective ‘sustainable’”.

“The current parliamentary term has seen the overuse of the adjective ‘sustainable’ and its combination with various other words to create expressions that frequently make no sense in the context” Železný writes in his declaration.

“The word ‘sustainable’ is repeated in almost all policies and strategies, producing empty, meaningless phrases that may give rise to dispute” he continues.

“With the emergence of such expressions, they are being transformed into incantations and cryptography, disguising the real meaning of the concepts we discuss.”

And, calling for a temporary moratorium on use of the word, the Czech adds with self-conscious irony:

“Overuse of the adjective ‘sustainable’ is itself not sustainable.”

A bugbear of antijargonauts across the English-speaking world, the term has been embraced with particular gusto by EU policy-makers.

Indeed, a search on the EU’s own institutional website for the word returned 37,510 results.

Using Google, meanwhile, a search for “European Union” and ‘sustainable’ results in “about 7,610,000” references.

Mr Železný, BM salutes you.

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