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Are you talking squit? I'll just circle back to you on that

Being Welsh, (yes, yes, don't mention the football), I’ve always been fascinated by English.

It’s a very useful language, for all of its vagaries, for navigating day-to-day life; from shopping to paying the phone bill and international trade negotiations, within reason.

So it was with great interest I read the feature on our website, Suffolk News, about the origins of Suffolk dialect.

Suffolk dialect coach Charlie Haylock.
Suffolk dialect coach Charlie Haylock.

Some particular favourites include ‘sarnick’ from the Old Norse ‘seinka’, meaning to walk slowly; ‘polywiggle', from Middle English poll (head) and wigel (wiggle) – a head with a wiggly tail, and which was exported to America in the 1600s by East Anglians with the American word for a tadpole, still remaing today: ‘pollywig’.

This, of course, as opposed to an ‘airywiggle', which has been known, according to ancient folklore, to crawl into your ear, and provide translation of any language, worldwide.

Or is that the famed Babel fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy. I sometimes confuse the two.

Nevertheless, I can’t quite fathom why a Suffolk bus driver might say: 'please can you get on the bus one at a time together', which perhaps might be double-Dutch, who knows.

Which brings me on to a whole new, and still evolving language, I think even a Babel fish would struggle with, despite its similarities to Vogon poetry, which as we know Vogon’s used as a torture method, and could in fact make your ears bleed.

Yes, I am talking about Bizspeak.

Now, you may want to circle back to me on this, and leverage best practice or reach out to a co-worker and parallel-path which could be disruptive or perhaps even empowering to those displaying core values from the get-go, presuming they have touched-base with others curating the current eco-system and shift in the business paradigm with regard to stakeholder engagement.

Ears bleeding yet?

In 1782, the philosopher Étienne Bonnot de Condillac observed that ‘every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas’.

That’s fair enough. We all know how lawyers speak their own language, as do economists, and council press officers.

Sometimes due to the specific language used in the nature of the business, to a) demonstrate their expertise and learning b) protect their income – but also sometimes, in the latter case, to deliberately confuse or obfuscate, or to make something sound grander than it actually is.

So it has been refreshing while writing a series of articles in the run-up to this year’s Bury Free Press Business Awards that, on the whole I would say, that the world of business in West Suffolk is pretty much jargon free.

In fact, I would say my discussions so far have been enlightening and gobbledygook-free; just plain, straight talking from our sponsors expressing their belief in, thoughts about and hopes for the West Suffolk business community.

It should be a good awards this year with all that pent-up energy after three lockdowns.

To nomination or view the categories, click here.

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