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Are you 'shovel ready'? 11 bits of jargon you didn't want to know

Going on a “client journey”? Looking for the “USP? Planning a “mind share”? Then you’ll know what all this lot are on about…

DON’T FORGET YOUR shovel if you want to go to work… in the construction industry.

A press release from the CIF (Construction Industry Federation) this week presented with a unfamiliar piece of jargon: “shovel ready”. The statement read:

Hundreds of shovel ready projects around the country could be given an immediate green light if the Government secures an agreement on an EU stimulus package, creating thousands of construction jobs according to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

It’s a term that is commonly used to those in the construction industry – a project that is “ready to start immediately”.

It got us to thinking about those buzzwords that are specific to certain jobs and sectors… but might not be so familiar to the rest of us:

Are you 'shovel ready'? 11 bits of jargon you didn't want to know
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  • Retail industry: "Client journey"

    "Client journey": This is the overall experience you will have with a product or service, from the minute they hear/see/read about you to their visit to your shop to the delivery of the thing you are selling them. Sounds exhausting - and we didn't even know we were on it. (Pic: EdenPictures/
  • Recruitment sector: "Personal branding"

    "Personal brand": How do you promote yourself? Are you tweeting about your new project? It's all about talking yourself up in the third person, baby. (Pic: davidd/
  • Property sales: "USP"

    "USP": Okay, this is used in many industried but Unique Selling Point is a favourite of estate agents. It's time to be worried when the USP of a property is that it is "cosy"... (Pic: photosteve101/
  • Marketing: "Mind share"

    "Mind share": This is the amount of space in your consciousness that a brand takes up - the more it pops into your head, especially in association with something the brand *wants* to be associated with, the more mind share it has achieved. (Pic:Spectacles/
  • Interior design: "Retrofitting"

    "Retrofit": You'll hear this a lot at the moment because interior designers/architects have cottoned on to the fact that people are trapped in their homes by negative equity and instead of "trading up" are having to make so with the space that they've got (and perhaps didn't originally intend living in for the next 10/20/30 years). This might involve "retrofitting" your shabby old gaff with the techonology, energy efficiency, lighting, electrical systems that bring you up to standard. (Pic: seier+seier/
  • Transport industry: "Fuel efficiency"

    "Resource efficiency": Basically, this is the drive (pardon the pun) to finding solutions to getting people and goods from one place to another with the lowest fuel, carbon and time cost. (Pic: AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
  • Education sector: "Ready to learn"

    "Ready to learn": It was the title of a white paper on early childhood education in Ireland in 1999 but it seems this buzz phrase keeps popping up in educators' circles internationally. Apparently some types don't draw a distinction between being "ready for school" and "ready to learn", according to US education journalist John Merrow. You can be ready for school age-wise, but not always prepared for the system of learning you'll find there. Actually, that makes sense. (Pic: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)
  • Security: "Intelligence-led policing"

    "Intelligence-led policing". We members of the public might presume - or hope - that all policing is driven by intelligence. But this isn't to do with IQ - this intelligence refers to information gleaned from sources or contacts. In 1994, US historian Mark Riebling called for police officers to act "more like spies". (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Images)
  • Media: "Broccoli journalism"

    "Broccoli journalism": Hands up - the media isn't averse to it favourite jargon either. 'Broccoli' articles are meant to be the ones that you are forcefed because the media decides they are "good for you", even if they are boring and unpopular. Oh. (Pic: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • The industry buzzword of, er, choice: "Choiceful"

    "Choiceful": Seems to be the buzzword of, er, choice to describe coming to a decision after thinking about all the choices and weighing up the pros and cons of each. Would you ever - and we mean, EVER - say that in real-life conversation? Probably not. (Pic:

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