Wednesday, March 17, 2010

General obfuscation

When a weight-loss company decided to recruit a paid "couch potato" to eat high fat foods, it advertised for a "product testing associate". It seems the longer the title the less a job it is.

Generic DIP practitioner. This means they work with people who misuse drugs and alcohol - DIP standing for Drugs Intervention Programme.

Waste management and disposal technician. In other words, a bin man. 

Senior systems, applications and telephony engineer / procurement manager / 3rd line. Dogsbody or jack of all trades.

Information advisor. Not that weird, but I actually a university librarian.

Direct debit and membership and professional development stock and credit administrator. Admin assistant.

Surround mastering & restoration engineer. Sound technician (music industry)

Communications executive. In others words, telesales person

Investment development and research analyst, which is a long-winded way of saying technical helpdesk.

Worldwide marine asset financial analyst. An accountant.

Further examples here.

I don't know why they do it, it usually doesn't mean any more money, nor I expect prestige. I suppose it could come down to the fact that you catch more flies with honey type of thinking, though I doubt you fool that many people in the job.
I know English is a remarkably adaptable language and constantly fluid in that it's being modified, added too on a constant basis worldwide. We grab words from other languages on a daily basis and don't have (or need) anything like the French Toubon Laws or an Association pour la Défense de la Langue Française to protect English at all, nor I doubt would ever see the need for one.
Yet we have an almost ridiculous tendency among bureaucracies and administrators to come up with some incredibly complex titles for basic functions.
Yet one of the joys of English is to call a spade a spade and not a portable, hand-operated digging implement.

Some people just can't seem to resist it though.

2 annotations:

James Higham said...

Refreshments and beverages provision team leader?

Tea lady?

English Pensioner said...

What about the Transport Manager at Tescos. It turned out that he ws in charge of the men who collected the trolleys!