Are you guilty of not giving tuppence?

I actually mean two pence but that does not have the same heritage as tuppence. If you have a look at the ‘References in periodicals archive’ section of the page for tuppence under the Idioms tab on the Free Dictionary website, you will see what I mean (you may have to scroll down a bit).

Two pence is how much you save by using a three letter acronym (TLA) rather than saying the words in full. That figure is calculated on minimum wage, if you are fortunate enough to be on average wage, and who is because the figure is distorted by the obscene amount paid to some bosses, it is about six pence. What you lose is harder to value. To calculate the saving all I had to do was time myself saying three letter acronym and saying TLA deduct one from the other, do a bit of maths and I had a value. There is no doubt in my mind that acronyms tend to obfuscate rather than inform. Worse than that they neuter the message.

I spent a few years as a Compliance Officer in Financial Services and during that time TCF was an omnipresent acronym. Banks and other large financial services companies spent a lot of time ticking boxes to make sure they were TCF compliant, a requirement of the regulator, but paid little attention to what the initials stood for – Treating Customers Fairly (action, people, justice). You can see why the banks had to pay out lots of compensation due to the mis-selling scandals, where they didn’t treat customers fairly.

So, what has got me hot under the collar now. Today I listened to a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor talk about how equality, diversity and inclusion benefited companies. They quoted a Harvard Business Review article reporting on research that found multidisciplinary teams that combine the collective capabilities of women and men, people of different cultural heritage, and younger and older workers are 17% more likely to report that they are high performing, 20% more likely to say they make high-quality decisions, and 29% more likely to report behaving collaboratively. That is a misquote because the article was about how simply throwing a mix of people together doesn’t guarantee high performance; it requires inclusive leadership. Still equality, diversity and inclusion are a good thing, reducing it to ED & I or more commonly EDI is not a good thing.

If you look under the ‘Acronyms’ tab on the Free Dictionary you will find 46 different meanings for EDI. The most commonly used meaning is Electronic Data Interchange with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion being some way down the list. If it is important say it in full and appreciate the richness of the words and the meanings they convey.

Equality – the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.

Diversity – variety, a range of different things or people.

Inclusion – the action or state of including or of being included within a group.

ED & I could be anything, even a hospital department. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is about rights, fairness, people, groups, richness.

If it is important say it.

If you like what I say you can buy me a coffee if you want to.


Published by edward620


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